Functional correlates of preserved naming performance in amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment

Eleonora Catricalà, Pasquale A. Della Rosa, Laura Parisi, Antonio G. Zippo, Virginia M. Borsa, Antonella Iadanza, Isabella Castiglioni, Andrea Falini, Stefano F. Cappa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Naming abilities are typically preserved in amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI), a condition associated with increased risk of progression to Alzheimer's disease (AD). We compared the functional correlates of covert picture naming and word reading between a group of aMCI subjects and matched controls. Unimpaired picture naming performance was associated with more extensive activations, in particular involving the parietal lobes, in the aMCI group. In addition, in the condition associated with higher processing demands (blocks of categorically homogeneous items, living items), increased activity was observed in the aMCI group, in particular in the left fusiform gyrus. Graph analysis provided further evidence of increased modularity and reduced integration for the homogenous sets in the aMCI group. The functional modifications associated with preserved performance may reflect, in the case of more demanding tasks, compensatory mechanisms for the subclinical involvement of semantic processing areas by AD pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-152
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Amnestic mild cognitive impairment fMRI
  • Functional connectivity
  • Fusiform gyrus
  • Graph analysis
  • Living-nonliving
  • Picture naming
  • Semantic context effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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