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Brain Lang. 2015 Aug;147:58-65. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2015.05.007. Epub 2015 Jun 11.

Semantic feature degradation and naming performance. Evidence from neurodegenerative disorders.

Author information

1
Institute for Advanced Study-IUSS Pavia, Pavia, Italy. Electronic address: eleonora.catricala@iusspavia.it.
2
Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology, National Research Council (IBFM-CNR), Milan, Italy.
3
Division of Neuroscience, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.
4
Division of Neuroscience, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy; Nuclear Medicine Department, San Raffaele Hospital and Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy.
5
Neuroscience Research Centre, Institute of Cardiovascular and Cell Sciences, St George's, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London, UK.
6
Institute for Advanced Study-IUSS Pavia, Pavia, Italy; Division of Neuroscience, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.

Abstract

The failure to name an object in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in the semantic variant of the primary progressive aphasia (sv-PPA) has been generally attributed to semantic memory loss, with a progressive degradation of semantic features. Not all features, however, may have the same relevance in picture naming. We analyzed the relationship between picture naming performance and the loss of semantic features in patients with AD with or without naming impairment, with sv-PPA and in matched controls, assessing the role of distinctiveness, semantic relevance and feature type (sensorial versus non-sensorial) with a sentence verification task. The results showed that distinctive features with high values of semantic relevance were lost only in all patients with naming impairment. The performance on the sensorial distinctive features with high relevance was the best predictor of naming performance only in sv-PPA, while no difference between sensorial and non-sensorial features was found in AD patients.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer’s disease; Distinctiveness; Non sensorial; Picture naming; Semantic features; Semantic relevance; Semantic variant of the Primary Progressive Aphasia; Sensorial

PMID:
26072002
DOI:
10.1016/j.bandl.2015.05.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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