Short-term memory binding is insensitive to the socioeconomic status of older adults with and without mild cognitive impairment

Martínez-Flórez, Juan Felipe and Belalcázar, Mateo and Alvarez, Alexandrina and Erazo, Oscar and Sevilla, Sairy Tupak and Parra, Mario Alfredo (2024) Short-term memory binding is insensitive to the socioeconomic status of older adults with and without mild cognitive impairment. The Clinical Neuropsychologist. pp. 1-20. ISSN 1385-4046 (

[thumbnail of Martinez-Florez-etal-TCN-2024-Short-term-memory-binding-is-insensitive-to-the-socioeconomic-status-of-older-adults] Text. Filename: Martinez-Florez-etal-TCN-2024-Short-term-memory-binding-is-insensitive-to-the-socioeconomic-status-of-older-adults.pdf
Accepted Author Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 16 April 2025.
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 logo

Download (985kB) | Request a copy


The Visual Short-Term Memory Binding (VSTMB) Test is a useful tool in the assessment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Research has suggested that short-term memory binding is insensitive to the sociocultural characteristics of the assessed individuals. Such earlier studies addressed this influence by considering years of education. The current study aims to determine the influence of sociocultural factors a measure of Socioeconomic Status (SES) which provides a more holistic approach to these common confounders. A sample of 126 older adults, both with (  = 59) and without (  = 67) amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), underwent assessment using a neuropsychological protocol including VSTMB test. All participants were classified as either high SES or low SES, employing the Standard Demographic Classification from the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research. ANOVA/ANCOVA models confirmed that performance of healthy and aMCI participants on traditional neuropsychological tests were sensitive to SES whereas the VSTMB Test was not. The results add to the growing array of evidence suggesting that there are cognitive abilities which are unaffected by socioeconomic factors, regardless of clinical condition. The lack of sensitivity to sociocultural factors previously reported for the VSTMB test is accompanied by a lack of sensitivity to socioeconomic factors thus broadening the scope of this test to aid in the detection of dementia across populations with different backgrounds. Future studies should take these findings forward and explore the potential influences of AD biomarkers (A/T/N) on the association between cognitive functions and demographic variables.