The proposed studies are designed to examine the neuropsychological processes underlying the deficits in stem-completion and paired-associate priming exhibited by patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT). Since such long-term priming is intact in patients with circumscribed amnesia and in patients with other forms of dementia,identification of the processes associated with the impaired priming in DAT may lead to information about the necessary and sufficient conditions for the priming phenomenon to occur. In addition, by examining the processes underlying the priming deficit in mildly demented DAT patients, the present project may provide the information about the clinical utility of the priming phenomenon for the differential diagnosis of DAT. The first set of experi-ments will examine the effect of semantic orienting tasks on the verbal priming of DAT patients. The relationship of vigilance, selective attention and arousal to the priming performance of DAT patients will be examined in the second set of experiments. A third set of experiments will examine the role of visuoperceptual processes in the priming deficit of DAT patients.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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Life Course and Prevention Research Review Committee (LCR)
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University of California San Diego
Schools of Medicine
La Jolla
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Rouleau, Isabelle; Salmon, David P; Vrbancic, Mirna (2002) Learning, retention and generalization of a mirror tracing skill in Alzheimer's disease. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 24:239-50
Salmon, D P; Butters, N; Chan, A S (1999) The deterioration of semantic memory in Alzheimer's disease. Can J Exp Psychol 53:108-17
Heindel, W C; Salmon, D P; Fennema-Notestine, C et al. (1998) Repetition priming with nonverbal stimuli in patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type. Neuropsychology 12:43-51
Chan, A S; Butters, N; Salmon, D P (1997) The deterioration of semantic networks in patients with Alzheimer's disease: a cross-sectional study. Neuropsychologia 35:241-8
Heindel, W C; Cahn, D A; Salmon, D P (1997) Non-associative lexical priming is impaired in Alzheimer's disease. Neuropsychologia 35:1365-72
Rouleau, I; Salmon, D P; Butters, N (1996) Longitudinal analysis of clock drawing in Alzheimer's disease patients. Brain Cogn 31:17-34
Peavy, G M; Salmon, D P; Rice, V A et al. (1996) Neuropsychological assessment of severely demeted elderly: the severe cognitive impairment profile. Arch Neurol 53:367-72
Taylor, K I; Salmon, D P; Rice, V A et al. (1996) Longitudinal examination of American National Adult Reading Test (AMNART) performance in dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT): validation and correction based on degree of cognitive decline. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 18:883-91
Salmon, D P; Galasko, D; Hansen, L A et al. (1996) Neuropsychological deficits associated with diffuse Lewy body disease. Brain Cogn 31:148-65
Salmon, D P; Butters, N (1995) Neurobiology of skill and habit learning. Curr Opin Neurobiol 5:184-90

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