• Comparison of confrontation naming and defining in Alzheimer's disease patients and elderly control subjects

      Kaszniak, Alfred W.; Caffrey, Jill Teresa, 1959- (The University of Arizona., 1990)
      Confrontation naming has frequently been administered to Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients as a measure of the integrity of semantic memory. Recent evidence, however, suggests that naming may be possible without access to semantic information. A defining task, which requires access to and integrity of semantic knowledge was paired with confrontation naming in a study of AD patients and normal elderly controls. Ninety-nine mild and moderately demented AD patients and 51 elderly controls were asked to both name and define the same stimulus items. Many instances of preservation of the ability to name and not define, or define and not name, were observed. These findings suggest that confrontation naming alone is an inaccurate measure of semantic memory. Further, these results suggest that naming is possible in the absence of the ability to demonstrate semantic knowledge as measured by the defining task.