Journal List > Dement Neurocogn Disord > v.11(3) > 1120808

Dement Neurocogn Disord. 2012 Sep;11(3):95-103. Korean.
Published online Sep 30, 2012.
Copyright© 2012 Korean Dementia Association
A Comparison of the Prospective Memory among College Students, Normal Elderly, and Parkinson's Disease Patients
Jiyoung Pyun, M.A.,* Yeonwook Kang, Ph.D.,, Jaeseol Park, M.A.,, Yun Joong Kim, M.D., Ph.D., Kunseok Park, Ph.D.,§ and Il-Woo Han, M.D.*
*Hyoja Geriatric Hospital, Yongin, Korea.
Department of Psychology, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea.
Department of Neurology, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Anyang, Korea.
§Hallym University Institute of Aging, Chuncheon, Korea.

Address for correspondence: Yeonwook Kang, Ph.D. Department of Psychology, Hallym University, 39 Hallymdaehakgil, Chuncheon 200-702, Korea. Tel: +82-33-248-1724, Fax: +82-33-256-3424, Email:
Received May 22, 2012; Revised Jul 25, 2012; Accepted Jul 25, 2012.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



This study was conducted to examine the effects of normal aging and cerebral pathology on the prospective memory and the relationships between the prospective memory and frontal lobe functions.


The subjects were 30 college students, 30 normal elderly, and 30 Parkinson's disease patients. There was no significant difference in the mean age or education level between the normal elderly and Parkinson's disease patients. The Cambridge Prospective Memory Test and the Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire were administered to evaluate the prospective memory. The Seoul Verbal Learning Test and Rey Complex Figure Test were given to assess the verbal and visual episodic memories. The subjects also took the Sorting Test, the Korean-Color Word Stroop Test, and the Iowa Gambling Task to assess the frontal lobe functions.


The results showed that the prospective memory declines with aging and pathological process. The normal elderly showed significantly lower scores on the time-based prospective memory than the event-based prospective memory, although the college students and Parkinson's disease patients did not show any differences between them. Many significant correlations were found between the prospective memory tests and frontal lobe tests in the normal elderly and Parkinson's disease patients, although only a few correlations were found in the college students.


These quantitative and qualitative changes in the prospective memory by aging and frontal lobe dysfunction would support the de-differentiation hypothesis of aging.

Keywords: Prospective memory; Aging; Frontal lobe function; Parkinson's disease; Dedifferentiation hypothesis


Table 1
Demographic characteristics and the K-MMSE score of the college students, normal elderly, and PD patients
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Table 2
Prospective memory and retrospective (episodic) memory test results of the college students, normal elderly, and PD patients
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Table 3
Correlations between prospective and retrospective (episodic) memory tests among the college students, normal elderly, and PD patients
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Table 4
The results of frontal lobe function tests in the college students, normal elderly, and PD patients
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Table 5
Correlations between prospective memory and frontal lobe function tests among the college students, normal elderly, and PD patients
Click for larger image

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