Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease with prime conse- quences on the motor function and concomitant cognitive changes, most frequently in the domain of executive functions. Moreover, poorer performance with action-verbs versus object-nouns has been reported in ALS patients, raising the hypothesis that the motor dysfunction deteriorates the semantic representation of actions. Using action-verbs and manipulable-object nouns sharing semantic relationship with the same motor represen- tations, the verb-noun difference was assessed in a group of 21 ALS-patients with severely impaired motor behavior, and compared with a normal sample's performance. ALS-group performed better on nouns than verbs, both in production (action and object naming) and comprehension (word-picture matching). This observation implies that the interpretation of the verb-noun difference in ALS cannot be accounted by the relatedness of verbs to motor representations, but has to consider the role of other semantic and/or morpho- phonological dimensions that distinctively define the two grammatical classes. More- over, this difference in the ALS-group was not greater than the noun-verb difference in the normal sample. The mental representation of actions also involves an executive-control component to organize, in logical/temporal order, the individual motor events (or sub- goals) that form a purposeful action. We assessed this ability with action sequencing tasks, requiring participants to re-construct a purposeful action from the scrambled pre- sentation of its constitutive motor events, shown in the form of photographs or short sentences. In those tasks, ALS-group's performance was significantly poorer than controls'. Thus, the executive dysfunction manifested in the sequencing deficit ebut not the selec- tive verb deficite appears as a consistent feature of the cognitive profile associated with LS. We suggest that ALS can offer a valuable model to study the relationship between (frontal) motor centers and the executive-control machinery housed in the frontal brain, and the implications of executive dysfunctions in tasks such as action processing.

The processing of actions and-action words in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis patients / Papeo, Liuba; Cecchetto, Cinzia; Mazzon, G.; Granello, G.; Cattaruzza, T.; Verriello, L.; Eleopra, R.; Rumiati, Raffaella. - In: CORTEX. - ISSN 0010-9452. - 64:March 01(2015), pp. 136-147. [10.1016/j.cortex.2014.10.007]

The processing of actions and-action words in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis patients

Papeo, Liuba;Cecchetto, Cinzia;Rumiati, Raffaella
2015-01-01

Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease with prime conse- quences on the motor function and concomitant cognitive changes, most frequently in the domain of executive functions. Moreover, poorer performance with action-verbs versus object-nouns has been reported in ALS patients, raising the hypothesis that the motor dysfunction deteriorates the semantic representation of actions. Using action-verbs and manipulable-object nouns sharing semantic relationship with the same motor represen- tations, the verb-noun difference was assessed in a group of 21 ALS-patients with severely impaired motor behavior, and compared with a normal sample's performance. ALS-group performed better on nouns than verbs, both in production (action and object naming) and comprehension (word-picture matching). This observation implies that the interpretation of the verb-noun difference in ALS cannot be accounted by the relatedness of verbs to motor representations, but has to consider the role of other semantic and/or morpho- phonological dimensions that distinctively define the two grammatical classes. More- over, this difference in the ALS-group was not greater than the noun-verb difference in the normal sample. The mental representation of actions also involves an executive-control component to organize, in logical/temporal order, the individual motor events (or sub- goals) that form a purposeful action. We assessed this ability with action sequencing tasks, requiring participants to re-construct a purposeful action from the scrambled pre- sentation of its constitutive motor events, shown in the form of photographs or short sentences. In those tasks, ALS-group's performance was significantly poorer than controls'. Thus, the executive dysfunction manifested in the sequencing deficit ebut not the selec- tive verb deficite appears as a consistent feature of the cognitive profile associated with LS. We suggest that ALS can offer a valuable model to study the relationship between (frontal) motor centers and the executive-control machinery housed in the frontal brain, and the implications of executive dysfunctions in tasks such as action processing.
2015
64
March 01
136
147
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2014.10.007
Papeo, Liuba; Cecchetto, Cinzia; Mazzon, G.; Granello, G.; Cattaruzza, T.; Verriello, L.; Eleopra, R.; Rumiati, Raffaella
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11767/14540
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