How to assess abstract conceptual knowledge: Construction, standardization and validation of a new battery of semantic memory tests

Pasquale Anthony Della Rosa, Eleonora Catricalà, Silvia De Battisti, David Vinson, Gabriella Vigliocco, Stefano F. Cappa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The neuropsychological investigation of semanticmemory has mainly focused on concrete concepts, while abstract concepts have been relatively neglected. We describe a new battery for assessing abstract concepts in brain-damaged patients. The battery includes three different tests: an association task, a multiplechoice naming-to-description task and a sentence completion task. The three tasks are based on the same 40 stimuli belonging to different categories of abstract concepts and they are tightly controlled for variables that can account for quantitative differences between abstract concepts (i.e. concreteness, imageability, context availability, familiarity, age of acquisition, mode of acquisition, emotional valence and arousal). The three tasks showed high reliability. Normative data were collected from 108 healthy Italian adults. Toassess its sensitivity, the battery was administered to 13 patients with probable Alzheimer's disease who performed worse than matched controls. Significant correlations were also found between the tests and other semantic memory tests, supporting the validity of the battery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalFunctional Neurology
Volume29
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Abstract concepts
  • Battery of tests
  • Semantic memory
  • Standardization
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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