AdvisorBayles, Kathryn A.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn an attempt to characterize the nature of semantic memory impairment in persons with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT), a free association task, a definition task, and an associate rank ordering task were administered to 10 mildly and 13 moderately impaired DAT subjects, and 14 normal control subjects. The DAT subjects presented a free association response profile that was markedly different from normal controls. Further, DAT subjects provided meaningful definitions to many of the words used as stimuli in the free association task. Relative to controls, DAT subjects demonstrated a deterioration in their ability to rank order words according to the strength of their association to a stimulus noun. The presently obtained data suggest that the semantic memory impairment in DAT can be characterized, in part, as a deterioration in the associative structure between concepts and a loss of conceptual knowledge.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Speech and Hearing Sciences