The role of semantic knowledge on the cognitive estimation task--evidence from Alzheimer's disease and healthy adult aging

S. Della Sala, S. E. MacPherson, L. Sacco, H. Spinnler, Louise Helen Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The current study investigated the role of semantic knowledge on the Cognitive Estimation Task (CET). In an initial experiment, the CET performance of 21 patients with frontal lobe lesions was compared with 21 healthy controls. The CET was found to be sensitive to the effects of frontal lobe lesions. In Experiment 2,175 participants aged between 18 and 87 years performed the CET to examine the effects of healthy adult aging on the task. No significant age effects were evident. In Experiment 3,27 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) were compared with 27 healthy controls on the CET. AD patients produced significantly more extreme cognitive estimates than the controls. A significant correlation was found between CET performance and performance on the General Knowledge of the World Task, a task intended to assess semantic knowledge. The hypothesis is put forward that healthy older adults are able to use their intact semantic knowledge to compensate for problem-solving deficits when generating cognitive estimates. In contrast, owing to degradation in semantic abilities, AD patients are unable to benefit from semantic knowledge and instead tend to produce bizarre cognitive estimates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-164
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurology
Volume251
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • aging
  • cognitive estimation
  • semantic knowledge
  • FRONTAL-LOBE LESIONS
  • MINI-MENTAL-STATE
  • ABSTRACT DESIGNS
  • NORMATIVE DATA
  • MEMORY
  • AGE
  • PERFORMANCE
  • DEMENTIA
  • TESTS
  • LOBECTOMY

Cite this

The role of semantic knowledge on the cognitive estimation task--evidence from Alzheimer's disease and healthy adult aging. / Della Sala, S.; MacPherson, S. E.; Sacco, L.; Spinnler, H.; Phillips, Louise Helen.

In: Journal of Neurology, Vol. 251, No. 2, 2004, p. 156-164.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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