Objective: The NWTT is a visuospatial memory measure constructed to distinguish between forgetting and retrieval difficulties. Memory retrieval can facilitate detection of frontal decline. HIV infection is associated with undermining the fronto-striatal networks, resulting in impairments characterized by poor recall, recall intrusion errors, but generally intact recognition. Due to limitations of existing visuospatial memory tests, such patterns have not been observed with visuospatial memory. The present study's objective was to demonstrate the NWTT's sensitivity to conditions characterized by frontal/retrieval difficulty by examining NWTT scores among a sample of HIV-positive individuals. Method: 24 HIV-positive adults (85% male) completed a neuropsychological battery that included the CVLT-II, D-KEFS Verbal Fluency and Trail Making Test, WAIS-IV Coding and LNS, RFFT, and NWTT. Seven scores were converted to z-scores and combined to create a Cognitive Functioning Index (CFI: verbal and figural fluency, TMT number-letter switching, coding, LNS, and verbal learning and short-delay free recall). Higher scores indicated better cognitive functioning. Results: CFI correlated with one of three NWTT learning scores. CFI also correlated in hypothesized ways with NWTT Recall Omission Errors (r = −.53), Learning Repetition Errors (r = −.48), an Free Recall (r = .582), but not with Forced Choice Recall (assisted retrieval condition; r = .28). Most importantly, participants with poorer CFI benefited more from retrieval assistance on the NWTT (r = −.504). Conclusion: NWTT indices that were predicted to be sensitive to fronto-striatal dysfunction correlated with poor cognitive functioning among persons living with HIV. These findings, therefore, support the intended sensitivity of recall and retrieval components of the NWTT to frontal dysfunction.
HIV and Visuospatial Memory: Recall and Retrieval using the Northwest Trail Making Test (NWTT)
N Dasher, P Vik, S Riffel, J Egusquiza, D Hache, C Williams; C-43
HIV and Visuospatial Memory: Recall and Retrieval using the Northwest Trail Making Test (NWTT). Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2015; 30 (6): 578. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv047.245
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