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Description: Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and pathological declined associated with dementia (Gauthier et al., 2006; Petersen et al., 2014). The risk for developing MCI increases with age, with approximate annual conversion rates to dementia estimated between 3 to 15% (Michaud et al., 2017; Mitchell & Shiri-Feshki, 2009; Tifratene et al., 2015). Research has documented changes in autobiographical memory and episodic future thinking in MCI and dementia. However, cognitive decline occurs gradually and may affect cognitive processes in memory prior to formal diagnosis (Sperling et al., 2011). The current study aims to investigate whether older adults who are “at risk” of cognitive decline but do not meet the threshold for clinical diagnosis of MCI show differences in remembering and imagining events on the Autobiographical Interview (AI; Levine et al., 2002) relative to healthy older adults that are consistent with mild impairment of episodic processes. This study will bridge the gap in our knowledge of the trajectory of cognitive decline from healthy aging to dementia as it pertains to autobiographical memory and episodic future thinking abilities.


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