The Swinging Self: The Costs of Shifting Between Self-Images in Alzheimer’s Disease

Emin Altintas, Ahmed A. Moustafa, Karim Gallouj, Mohamad El Haj*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


Background: We investigated the ability of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) to shift between different self-images.

Methods: We developed an original task (shifting-self task) in which we invited 28 patients with AD and 30 control participants to generate “who am I” statements that describe 2 alternative self-images (ie, physical-self vs psychological-self). In a control task, participants had to generate 2 blocks of “who am I” statements (ie, physical-self block and psychological-self block). 

Results: Analyses showed longer completion time in both the shifting-self and control task in patients with AD than in control participants. Completion time on the shifting-self task was longer than that on the control task in patients with AD, suggesting a shifting cost in AD. 

Conclusion: We propose that one feature of the diminished sense of self in AD is the difficulty of patients to shift between different alternating self-images.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


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