Altered Electrophysiology of Semantic Word Processing in Alzheimer's Disease and Semantic Dementia

Grieder, Matthias; Dierks, Thomas; Stein, Maria; Wirth, Miranka; Crinelli, Raffaella; Wahlund, Lars-Olof; Francisco, Lacerda (1 October 2010). Altered Electrophysiology of Semantic Word Processing in Alzheimer's Disease and Semantic Dementia. Clinical EEG and neuroscience, 41(4), p. 235. Sage 10.1177/155005941004100411

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With the progressing course of Alzheimer's disease (AD), deficits in declarative memory increasingly restrict the patients' daily activities. Besides the more apparent episodic (biographical) memory impairments, the semantic (factual) memory is also affected by this neurodegenerative disorder. The episodic pathology is well explored; instead the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms of the semantic deficits remain unclear. For a profound understanding of semantic memory processes in general and in AD patients, the present study compares AD patients with healthy controls and Semantic Dementia (SD) patients, a dementia subgroup that shows isolated semantic memory impairments. We investigate the semantic memory retrieval during the recording of an electroencephalogram, while subjects perform a semantic priming task. Precisely, the task demands lexical (word/nonword) decisions on sequentially presented word pairs, consisting of semantically related or unrelated prime-target combinations. Our analysis focuses on group-dependent differences in the amplitude and topography of the event related potentials (ERP) evoked by related vs. unrelated target words. AD patients are expected to differ from healthy controls in semantic retrieval functions. The semantic storage system itself, however, is thought to remain preserved in AD, while SD patients presumably suffer from the actual loss of semantic representations.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Psychiatric Neurophysiology (discontinued)

UniBE Contributor:

Grieder, Matthias; Dierks, Thomas; Stein, Maria and Wirth, Miranka


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health






[UNSPECIFIED] Synapsis Foundation
[UNSPECIFIED] Alzheimerfonden




Matthias Grieder

Date Deposited:

26 Nov 2014 16:22

Last Modified:

10 Aug 2015 11:21

Publisher DOI:





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