Predominance of category deficits for living things in Alzheimer's disease and Lewy body dementia

Keith R. Laws, John Robertson Crawford, Francesca Gnoato, Giuseppe Sartori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Although semantic memory impairment is well documented in patients with dementia of the Alzheimer's type, questions remain as to whether the deficit extends to other forms of dementia and whether it differentially affects different domains of knowledge. We examined category naming on two tasks (picture naming and naming-to-description) in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD: n = 11), Lewy body dementia (DLB: n = 11) and healthy elderly matched controls (n = 22). The DLB and AD groups showed significantly worse naming on both tasks, although the AD patients were more impaired than the DLB patients. Like some AD patients, some DLB patients showed evidence of category-specific naming deficits, and strikingly, all 25 significant category dissociations were for living things. The latter finding accords with the preponderance of living deficits previously documented for AD patients, but extends this finding to DLB patients. The implications of this category bias is discussed in relation to relevant models of category specificity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-409
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number3
Early online date20 Mar 2007
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2007


  • semantic impairment
  • category specificity
  • modality-specific
  • naming
  • dementia
  • dissociation
  • semantic memory impairment
  • nonliving things
  • brain representation
  • double dissociation
  • bodies
  • knowledge
  • gender
  • normality
  • diagnosis
  • AD


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