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Brain Lang. 1990 Nov;39(4):498-510.

Naming and categorical knowledge in Alzheimer's disease: the process of semantic memory deterioration.

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  • 1Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721.


Semantic memory deterioration in Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been theorized to proceed from a loss of object attribute knowledge to a loss of category knowledge. The theory is based on the belief that naming is a computational process requiring object attribute knowledge. It is strengthened by reports that AD patients misname by giving category information and perform poorer on tests of attribute than category knowledge. The purpose of this study was to test the theory's validity by administering naming and category knowledge tasks to AD and normal elderly control subjects. Results revealed a theoretically unexpected outcome, that is, naming became easier relative to the recall and recognition of category information.

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