Two studies are reported on the development and validation of a test of remote memory for use in Australia. On the basis of a pilot study, 54 photographs of famous faces and 54 public-event questions spanning the six decades from the 1930s to the 1980s were selected to assess ability to recall and recognise people and events remote from the present. In Study 1 (N = 60), the test was administered to three groups ranging in age from 21 to 77 years who had no history of neurological or psychiatric disorder. In Study 2 (N = 36), the test was administered to two clinical groups with diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease or Korsakoff's syndrome and to two groups of matched controls. Results indicated (a) memory for faces and events in the remote past was poorer than that for faces and events in the recent past but, importantly, this effect interacted with age of participant, with the older age group showing better memory for the remote past; (b) performance in the recognition condition was significantly better than that in the recall condition; (c) neither recall nor recognition performance was correlated with educational level; and (d) participants in the two clinical groups performed significantly more poorly than their matched controls. Although more work is needed on norming the test, the results indicate that it is a useful and valid test for assessing remote memory in the Australian context.
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