Verb acquisition and representation in Alzheimer's disease

Murray Grossman, Ryan Murray, Phyllis Koenig, Sherry Ash, Katy Cross, Peachie Moore, Vanessa Troiani
2007 Neuropsychologia  
We examined the implicit acquisition and mental representation of a novel verb in patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD). Patients were exposed to the new verb in a naturalistic manner as part of a simple picture story. We probed grammatical, semantic and thematic matrix knowledge of the verb soon after presentation and again one week later. We found partial verb acquisition that was retained over one week. AD patients did not differ from controls in their acquisition and retention of
more » ... new verb's major grammatical subcategory, although they acquired little of its semantic properties and displayed minimal acquisition of the new word's thematic matrix. Moreover, AD patients appeared to maintain their acquired grammatical knowledge over one week. We discuss the implications of these findings from several perspectives, including the modularity of the language processing system, the relationship between episodic memory and semantic memory, and the role of the preserved implicit memory system in AD patients' partially successful lexical acquisition.
doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2007.03.020 pmid:17482652 pmcid:PMC1986669 fatcat:k5onafg56fh6lb66srj5kj44wa