Color Vision in Alzheimer's Patients: Can We Improve Object Recognition with Color Cues?

Paul A. Cernin, Brenda K. Keller, Julie A. Stoner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Sixty-three frail, elderly patients seen in a university-based outpatient geriatric assessment clinic were divided into three dementia diagnosis categories (Alzheimer's disease, "other" dementias, cognitively intact) to investigate the use of color cues as memory aids. Recognition time was measured for three cues: (1) same color/different form; (2) same form/different color; and (3) different color/different form. Log transformed response times were longer for form cues (same color/different form) compared to color cues (different color/same form, p = .001; different color/different form, p < .001). No differences in log transformed response time were noted among dementia categories for each test condition. Color cues make a significant difference in short-term memory recall ability compared to form cues. Vivid color-coding the environment of a frail, elderly population may enhance short-term memory and improve functional ability. This may prove to be especially useful in long-term care settings, which provide services to a variety of people with differing cognitive abilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-267
Number of pages13
JournalAging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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