Semantic priming in Parkinson's disease: Evidence for delayed spreading activation

Wendy L. Arnott, HJ Chenery, Bruce E. Murdoch, Peter A. Silburn

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62 Citations (Scopus)


Nineteen persons with Parkinson's disease (PD) and 19 matched control participants completed a battery of online lexical decision tasks designed to isolate the automatic and attentional aspects of semantic activation within the semantic priming paradigm. Results highlighted key processing abnormalities in PD. Specifically, persons with PD exhibited a delayed time course of semantic activation. In addition, results suggest that experimental participants were unable to implicitly process prime information and, therefore, failed to engage strategic processing mechanisms in response to manipulations of the relatedness proportion. Results are discussed in terms of the 'Gain/Decay' hypothesis (Milberg, McGlinchey-Berroth, Duncan, & Higgins, 1999) and the dopaminergic modulation of signal to noise ratios in semantic networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-519
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2001
Externally publishedYes


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