Semantic interference during object naming in agrammatic and logopenic primary progressive aphasia (PPA)

Cynthia K. Thompson*, Soojin Cho, Charis Price, Christina Wieneke, Borna Bonakdarpour, Emily Rogalski, Sandra Weintraub, M. Marsel Mesulam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This study examined the time course of object naming in 21 individuals with primary progressive aphasia (PPA) (8 agrammatic (PPA-G); 13 logopenic (PPA-L)) and healthy age-matched speakers (n=17) using a semantic interference paradigm with related and unrelated interfering stimuli presented at stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) of -1000, -500, -100 and 0. ms. Results showed semantic interference (SI) (i.e. significantly slower RTs in related compared to unrelated conditions) for all groups at -500, -100 and 0. ms, indicating timely spreading activation to semantic competitors. However, both PPA groups showed a greater magnitude of SI than normal across SOAs. The PPA-L group and six PPA-G participants also evinced SI at -1000. ms, suggesting an abnormal time course of semantic interference resolution, and concomitant left hemisphere cortical atrophy in brain regions associated with semantic processing. These subtle semantic mapping impairments in non-semantic variants of PPA may contribute to the anomia of these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-250
Number of pages14
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Cortical thickness
  • FreeSurfer
  • Naming deficits in primary progressive aphasia
  • Primary progressive aphasia
  • Semantic interference
  • Word interference paradigms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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