Preserved Extra-Foveal Processing of Object Semantics in Alzheimer’s Disease

Article


Cimminella, F., D’Innocenzo, G., Sala, S. D., Iavarone, A., Musella, C. and Coco, M. I. 2021. Preserved Extra-Foveal Processing of Object Semantics in Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology. https://doi.org/10.1177/08919887211016056
AuthorsCimminella, F., D’Innocenzo, G., Sala, S. D., Iavarone, A., Musella, C. and Coco, M. I.
Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients underperform on a range of tasks requiring semantic processing, but it is unclear whether this impairment is due to a generalised loss of semantic knowledge or to issues in accessing and selecting such information from memory. The objective of this eye-tracking visual search study was to determine whether semantic expectancy mechanisms known to support object recognition in healthy adults are preserved in AD patients. Furthermore, as AD patients are often reported to be impaired in accessing information in extra-foveal vision, we investigated whether that was also the case in our study. Twenty AD patients and 20 age-matched controls searched for a target object among an array of distractors presented extra-foveally. The distractors were either semantically related or unrelated to the target (e.g., a car in an array with other vehicles or kitchen items). Results showed that semantically related objects were detected with more difficulty than semantically unrelated objects by both groups, but more markedly by the AD group. Participants looked earlier and for longer at the critical objects when these were semantically unrelated to the distractors. Our findings show that AD patients can process the semantics of objects and access it in extra-foveal vision. This suggests that their impairments in semantic processing may reflect difficulties in accessing semantic information rather than a generalised loss of semantic memory.

JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
ISSN1552-5708
Year2021
PublisherSAGE Publications
Accepted author manuscript
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Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/08919887211016056
Publication dates
Online28 May 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted02 Apr 2021
Deposited17 Jun 2021
Copyright holder© 2021 The Authors
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Additional information

As accepted for publication in Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology: Cimminella, F. et al. (2021) ‘Preserved Extra-Foveal Processing of Object Semantics in Alzheimer’s Disease’, Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology. doi: 10.1177/08919887211016056.

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CDDIC_JGPN_2021_personal_copy.pdf
License: All rights reserved
File access level: Anyone

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