skip to primary navigation skip to content

SenseCam facilitated recollection in Alzheimer's

Parallels between depression and dementia?

It is very well known that memory deficits occur in depression, with autobiographical memory and recollection being particularly impaired. A good case can be made that the mild cognitive impairments in the early stages of Alzheimer's share very similar properties, and that similar mechanisms may underlie both. This idea was investigated in a project funded by Microsoft Research and being carried out as a collaboration between Prof Linda Clare at Bangor University and Philip Barnard, Teresa Carthery, Fionnuala Murphy and Cristina Ramponi here at CBU.

Previous research has shown that SenseCam, a small camera developed by Microsoft Research Cambridge, can help patients with Alzheimer's to recollect details of special days in their life. The camera is worn around the neck and takes a picture every thirty seconds or so of whatever is in front of the person wearing it. Reviewing the images in sequence helps consolidate memories of the day's events. A number of publications on this device and its uses can be obtained from the MSR Cambridge website.

Our own research explored whether those in the early stages of Alzheimer's can learn various imagery strategies to extend the benefits of reviewing SenseCam montages to everyday events. We are also looking for parallel effects on well-being. Two papers report work on this project:

Barnard, P.J., Murphy, F.C. ; Carthery-Goulart, M.T., Ramponi, C., and Clare, L. (2011) Exploring the basis and boundary conditions of SenseCam-facilitated recollection. Memory, 9(7), 768-777.


Murphy, F.C., Barnard, P.J., Terry, K., Carthery-Goulart, M.T., & Holmes, E. (2011) SenseCam, Imagery and Bias in Memory for Wellbeing, Memory, 19 (7), 758-767.