Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This study was designed to explore the effects of spaced-retrieval training on memory and quality of life in older adults with probable Alzheimer’s disease. A total nineteen older adults with probable Alzheimer’s disease (AD) participated in these experiments. Experiment one was designed to determine whether the spacing effect is contributing to the success of the spaced-retrieval intervention. Participants were trained to recall a name-face association using either the adjusted spaced-retrieval method or a fixed interval retrieval method. The results showed a more consistent performance profile for the spaced retrieval group in comparison to the fixed interval group, providing evidence that the spacing effect is contributing to the gains in memory associated with spaced retrieval. Experiment two explored the effect of supplemental training sessions, ‘booster sessions’, on long term retention of the name-face association at a six month retest after the initial spaced retrieval training. The findings show booster sessions enhanced the long term effectiveness of the intervention, particularly during the first retest session. Experiment three examined the flexibility of the spaced retrieval method for use with familiar name-face associations. Subjects were trained on a familiar name-face association using the same methodology previously used for a non-familiar name-face association. Results indicated that the intervention could be useful in training familiar name-face associations. In addition to these specific experiments, quality of life was measured for all participants in each experiment prior to and after receiving the spaced retrieval intervention. Results provide preliminary evidence of a link between performance on the spaced retrieval task and improved rankings of quality of life.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Katie Cherry



Included in

Psychology Commons