Lexical and conceptual components of stem completion priming in patients with Alzheimer's disease

G. A. Carlesimo, M. Mauri, G. A. Marfia, L. Fadda, P. Turriziani, C. Caltagirone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study evaluated the hypothesis of dissociation between normal lexical but deficient conceptual repetition priming in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). For this purpose, we administered to patients with AD and age-matched normal controls the Stem Completion task. In Experiment 1, the level of word processing during study was manipulated by requiring subjects to count vowels (graphemic condition) or generate meanings (semantic condition) of target words. In Experiment 2, the presentation modality was varied during the study to obtain an intramodal and crossmodal repetition priming. Probably due to a floor effect of performance in the graphemic condition, in Experiment 1, AD patients exhibited lower priming than normal controls for the semantically processed words but comparable priming for the graphemically processed ones. In contrast, in Experiment 2, AD patients were poorly primed both in the intra- and crossmodal conditions. Results question the hypothesis of a lexical/conceptual dissociation in the repetition priming exhibited by AD patients and call for other explicative hypotheses of the dissociation between normal and deficient forms of repetition priming in degenerative dementia. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1049-1059
Number of pages11
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999


  • Alzheimer's dementia
  • Memory
  • Repetition priming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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