The examination of semantic access to abstract and concrete words by means of a priming paradigm

Grieder, M.; Kneubühler, B.; Wirth, M.; Horn, H.; Strik, W. K.; Dierks, T. (1 October 2008). The examination of semantic access to abstract and concrete words by means of a priming paradigm. European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience, 258(Suppl4), p. 27. D. Steinkopff-Verlag

Introduction: Subgroups of patients with schizophrenia or dementia are known to show distinct impairments in semantic memory for concrete words (e.g., shoe). Despite the fact that differences in the processing of concrete versus abstract (i.e., motive) words are well described, not much is known, though, on semantic impairments for abstract (e.g., motive) words in these patients. Therefore, we aimed to establish a paradigm that is useful to investigate concrete and abstract semantic memory and disentangle the underlying neuronal correlates. This paradigm was firstly tested in young healthy subjects. Methods: The subjects performed a lexical decision task implemented in a semantic priming paradigm, a suitable tool for investigating semantic processes. The paradigm consisted of abstract and concrete noun–noun word pairs, either semantically related or non-related and pronounceable non-words. Subjects were asked to indicate via button press whether the second word was a word or non-word. Concrete and abstract conditions were randomly intermixed. A short stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) of 250 ms minimized controlled processing strategies, such as semantic prediction and matching. The dependent variables of interest were reaction time (RT) changes to related and non-related words in the abstract versus concrete condition. Results and Discussion: All subjects showed significant priming effects (i.e., RT decrease in related compared to non-related words), both for the abstract and the concrete condition. An expected stronger priming effect for abstract compared to concrete words did not reach the significance level, although a positive tendency could be observed. This may be due to the small sample size. Taken together, the results show that our semantic priming paradigm is suitable to investigate processes in the abstract and concrete semantic system. It can further be considered to combine this paradigm with neurophysiological methods.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > UPD Murtenstrasse
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Grieder, Matthias; Kneubühler, Bernhard; Wirth, Miranka; Horn, Helge Joachim; Strik, Werner and Dierks, Thomas

Subjects:

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

ISSN:

0940-1334

Publisher:

D. Steinkopff-Verlag

Language:

English

Submitter:

Matthias Grieder

Date Deposited:

15 Nov 2016 09:26

Last Modified:

15 Nov 2016 09:26

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/89459

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