We report a patient with progressive left hemisphere atrophy who presented a lexical retrieval deficit more pronounced in naming non-living items than in naming living items. Word frequency and familiarity strongly influenced the performance, but the dissociation persisted when the items were controlled for these factors. In addition, the prevalent deficit for non-living items in respect to living items could be confirmed in tasks where other patients presented the opposite pattern. A PET study showed a significant hypometabolism in the left hemisphere regions suggesting that, at variance with living deficit which is observed in patients with bilateral lesions, non-living deficit is produced by unilateral left hemispheric lesions. This patient confirms that living and non-living categories may dissociate and that distinct neural systems subsume their knowledge.
- Category-specific deficit
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology