The multiple-choice formats (forms F and G) of the Benton Visual Retention Test as a tool to detect age-related memory changes in population-based studies and clinical settings

Abstract

The Benton Visual Retention Test (BVRT) is a widely used test for the evaluation of visuospatial memory. Alternate forms and various types of administration are available. Whereas most of the formats are visuoconstructional tasks, the forms F and G involve visual recognition. There are several reasons to use multiple-choice formats when studying age-related memory changes. Its procedure involving immediate recognition of geometric designs allows assessment of visuospatial working memory—a memory system particularly vulnerable to aging. The administration is rapid —it can be completed in 5 min—and is easily standardized. The multiple-choice format, relative to the drawing-response formats, also has the advantage of eliminating the influence of visuomotor and manual dexterity problems common in the elderly. Another advantage is the possibility of referring to recent geriatric norms, which can help clinicians or researchers identify individuals with low scores and potentially at risk for dementia.

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Figure 1: An altered item from the multiple-choice format of the BVRT.

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Correspondence to Hélène Amieva.

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