Two semantic priming tasks, designed to isolate automatic and controlled semantic activation, were utilized to investigate the impact of dopamine depletion on semantic processing in Parkinson's disease (PD). Seven people with PD (tested whilst on and off levodopa medication) and seven healthy adults participated in the study. The healthy adult participants demonstrated intact automatic and controlled semantic activation. Aberrant controlled semantic activation was observed in the PD group on levodopa; however, automatic semantic activation was still evident. In contrast, automatic semantic activation was not evident in the PD group off levodopa. These results further clarify the impact of PD on semantic processing, demonstrating that dopamine depletion can cause disturbances in both automatic and controlled semantic activation.