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How Does Featural Salience Affect Semantic Control Processes? A Preliminary Study

By Maria Montefinese, Glyn Hallam and Beth Jefferies

Abstract

Patients with multimodal semantic impairment following stroke (referred to here as ‘semantic aphasia’, SA) are highly sensitive to the cognitive control demands of the task being performed and poor at inhibiting strongly associated distracters and focusing on less dominant aspects of meaning. Here, using feature selection tasks, we tested the role played by a semantic measure of featural salience on the control processes in healthy participants (Experiment 1) and SA patients (Experiment 2). Healthy participants showed a worse performance when the distracter feature was highly salient and the target feature was less salient for the concept, i.e., when there was an interference with voluntary selection of the target feature (Experiment 1). Consistent with these results, the SA patients showed a poorer performance than older controls when the target feature was weakly related to the concept (Experiment 2). In line with the feature-based models of the semantic memory, we discuss these preliminary results in term of greater demands of controlled semantic retrieval when the features are weakly related to the concept in the semantic network

Topics: semantic impairment, semantic control, feature, selection task
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Year: 2014
OAI identifier: oai:www.openstarts.units.it:10077/10533
Provided by: OpenstarTs
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