Background: Category Fluency Test (CFT) is a common measure of semantic memory (SM). Test performance, however, is also influenced by other cognitive functions. We here propose a scoring procedure that quantifies the correlation between the serial recall order (SRO) of words retrieved during the CFT and a number of linguistic features, to obtain purer SM measures. To put this methodology to the test, we addressed a proof-of-concept hypothesis whereby, in alignment with the literature, older adults would show better SM. Methods: Ninety participants (45 aged 18–21 years; 45 aged 70–81 years) with normal neurological and cognitive functioning completed a 1-min CFT. SRO was scored as an ordinal variable incrementing by one unit for each valid entry. Each word was also scored for 16 additional linguistic features. Participant-specific normalised correlation coefficients were calculated between SRO and each feature and were analysed with group comparisons and graph theory. Results: Younger adults showed more negative correlations between SRO and “valence” (a feature of words pleasantness). This was driven by the first five words generated. When analysed with graph theory, SRO had significantly higher degree and lower betweenness centrality among older adults. Conclusion: In older adults, SM relies significantly less on pleasantness of entries typically retrieved without semantic control. Moreover, graph-theory metrics indicated better optimised links between SRO and linguistic features in this group. These findings are aligned with the principle whereby SM processes tend to solidify with ageing. Although additional work is needed in support of an SRO-based item-level scoring procedure of CFT performance, these initial findings suggest that this methodology could be of help in characterising SM in a purer form.

Serial Recall Order and Semantic Features of Category Fluency Words to Study Semantic Memory in Normal Ageing / De Marco, M.; Blackburn, D. J.; Venneri, A.. - In: FRONTIERS IN AGING NEUROSCIENCE. - ISSN 1663-4365. - 13:(2021). [10.3389/fnagi.2021.678588]

Serial Recall Order and Semantic Features of Category Fluency Words to Study Semantic Memory in Normal Ageing

De Marco M.;Venneri A.
2021

Abstract

Background: Category Fluency Test (CFT) is a common measure of semantic memory (SM). Test performance, however, is also influenced by other cognitive functions. We here propose a scoring procedure that quantifies the correlation between the serial recall order (SRO) of words retrieved during the CFT and a number of linguistic features, to obtain purer SM measures. To put this methodology to the test, we addressed a proof-of-concept hypothesis whereby, in alignment with the literature, older adults would show better SM. Methods: Ninety participants (45 aged 18–21 years; 45 aged 70–81 years) with normal neurological and cognitive functioning completed a 1-min CFT. SRO was scored as an ordinal variable incrementing by one unit for each valid entry. Each word was also scored for 16 additional linguistic features. Participant-specific normalised correlation coefficients were calculated between SRO and each feature and were analysed with group comparisons and graph theory. Results: Younger adults showed more negative correlations between SRO and “valence” (a feature of words pleasantness). This was driven by the first five words generated. When analysed with graph theory, SRO had significantly higher degree and lower betweenness centrality among older adults. Conclusion: In older adults, SM relies significantly less on pleasantness of entries typically retrieved without semantic control. Moreover, graph-theory metrics indicated better optimised links between SRO and linguistic features in this group. These findings are aligned with the principle whereby SM processes tend to solidify with ageing. Although additional work is needed in support of an SRO-based item-level scoring procedure of CFT performance, these initial findings suggest that this methodology could be of help in characterising SM in a purer form.
Serial Recall Order and Semantic Features of Category Fluency Words to Study Semantic Memory in Normal Ageing / De Marco, M.; Blackburn, D. J.; Venneri, A.. - In: FRONTIERS IN AGING NEUROSCIENCE. - ISSN 1663-4365. - 13:(2021). [10.3389/fnagi.2021.678588]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2933260
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