Publication details [#8640]

Papagno, Costanza, Federica Lucchelli, Silvia Muggia and Silvia Rizzo. 2003. Idiom comprehension in Alzheimer's disease: The role of the central executive. Logos: Revista de Lingüística, Filosofía y Literatura 126 (11) : 1450–1460. 11 pp.
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Article in journal
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(From beginning) Idiom comprehension of 15 patients with mild probable Alzheimer's disease was examined by means of a sentence-to-picture matching task. Patients had to choose between two pictures, one representing the figurative and the other the literal interpretation. They were also submitted to a literal sentence comprehension test and to a pencil-and-paper dual task. Whereas literal comprehension was normal in seven subjects and mildly impaired in the others, idiom comprehension was very poor in all of them and correlated with the performance on the dual task. When the idiom test was repeated using an unrelated situation as an alternative to the picture representing the figurative meaning, performance significantly improved. It was hypothesized that the response in the sentence-to-picture matching task in the case of idioms requires sentence processing followed by the suppression of the literal interpretation. Alzheimer's disease patients proved to be unable to inhibit the literal meaning, although they had not lost the idiomatic meaning. (Costanza Papagno, Federica Lucchelli, Silvia Muggia and Silvia Rizzo)