Language Imaging Lab Aphasia Battery

(~20 minutes)

Semantic Noun Matching

Example trial from the semantic noun matching test.

This test is similar to the written version of the Pyramid and Palm Trees Test (Howard & Patterson, 1992). Unlike that test and the similar Camel and Cactus Test (Bozeat et al., 2000), which combine trials requiring similarity judgments with trials requiring thematic associations, our version uses only similarity judgments. Our version also evaluates knowledge about abstract concepts that cannot be easily depicted, and thus allows a comparison between concrete object and abstract concept knowledge. Behavioral and neurophysiological studies indicate substantial differences in the processing of abstract and concrete concepts (Binder et al., 2005; Kounios & Holcomb, 1994; Paivio, 1971; Sabsevitz et al., 2005; Wise et al., 2000), and neuropsychological evidence for sensitivity to this factor in aphasia (Coltheart et al., 1980; Goodglass et al., 1969; Katz & Goodglass, 1990; Roeltgen et al., 1983). In addition to overall accuracy, category specificity is measured by comparing performance on various superordinate categories, and task “difficulty” is manipulated using similarity distance ratings obtained from healthy controls (Sabsevitz et al., 2005).



Data analysis:


Binder JR, Westbury CF, Possing ET, McKiernan KA, & Medler DA. (2005). Distinct brain systems for processing concrete and abstract concepts. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 17, 905-917.

Bozeat S, Lambon Ralph MA, Patterson K, Garrard P, & Hodges JR. (2000). Nonverbal semantic impairment in semantic dementia. Neuropsychologia, 38, 1207-1215.

Coltheart M, Patterson K, & Marshall J. (1980). Deep dyslexia. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Goodglass H, Hyde MR, & Blumstein S. (1969). Frequency, picturability and availability of nouns in aphasia. Cortex, 5, 104-119.

Howard D, & Patterson K. (1992). Pyramids and palm trees: A test of semantic access from pictures and words. London: Thames Valley Publishing.

Katz RB, & Goodglass H. (1990). Deep dysphasia: Analysis of a rare form of repetition disorder. Brain and Language, 39, 153-185.

Kounios J, & Holcomb PJ. (1994). Concreteness effects in semantic processing: ERP evidence supporting dual-encoding theory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 20, 804-823.

Paivio A. (1971). Imagery and verbal processes. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Roeltgen DP, Sevush S, & Heilman KM. (1983). Phonological agraphia: Writing by the lexical-semantic route. Neurology, 33, 755-765.

Sabsevitz DS, Medler DA, Seidenberg M, & Binder JR. (2005). Modulation of the semantic system by word imageability. Neuroimage, 27, 188-200.

Wise RJS, Howard D, Mummery CJ, Fletcher P, Leff A, Büchel C, et al. (2000). Noun imageability and the temporal lobes. Neuropsychologia, 38, 985-994.