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Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn. 2020 Mar;27(2):270-288. doi: 10.1080/13825585.2019.1606890. Epub 2019 May 15.

The role of semantic memory in the recognition of emotional valence conveyed by written words.

Author information

1
Faculté de médecine, Département de réadaptation, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada.
2
Centre de recherche CERVO - Brain Research Centre, Québec, QC, Canada.
3
Département des sciences neurologiques, Clinique Interdisciplinaire de Mémoire (CIME) du CHU de Québec, Québec, QC, Canada.
4
Faculté de médecine, Département de médecine, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada.
5
École de psychologie, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada.

Abstract

The main goal of this study was to examine the role of semantic memory in the recognition of emotional valence conveyed by words. Eight participants presenting with the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia (svPPA) and 33 healthy control participants were administered three tasks designed to investigate the formal association between the recognition of emotional valence conveyed by words and the lexical and semantic processing of these words. Results revealed that individuals with svPPA showed deficits in the recognition of negative emotional valence conveyed by words. Moreover, results evidenced that their performance in the recognition of emotional valence was better for correctly than for incorrectly retrieved lexical entries of words, while their performance was comparable for words that were correctly or incorrectly associated with semantic concepts. These results suggest that the recognition of emotional valence conveyed by words relies on the retrieval of lexical, but not semantic, representations of words.

KEYWORDS:

Semantic memory; emotion recognition; emotional valence; semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia; word recognition

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