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Neuropsychology. 2001 Oct;15(4):434-43.

Object naming and semantic knowledge in temporal lobe epilepsy.

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Matthews Neuropsychology Laboratory, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 53792, USA.


Object-naming impairment is common among temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients, but other aspects of semantic memory have received limited attention in this population. This study examined object-naming ability and depth of semantic knowledge in healthy controls (n = 29) and patients with early onset TLE (n = 21). After administration of the Boston Naming Test (BNT), the authors asked participants to provide detailed definitions of 6 BNT objects. The TLE group demonstrated a significant deficit relative to controls in both object-naming ability and semantic knowledge for the target objects, even after controlling for IQ. In a multiple regression analysis that included other neuropsychological test scores as independent variables, the semantic knowledge score was the only significant predictor of patients' object-naming performance. Thus, at the group level, early onset TLE patients have a semantic knowledge deficit that contributes to dysnomia.

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