Working memory and semantic involvement in sentence processing: a case of pure progressive amnesia

Neuropsychologia. 2006;44(3):335-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2005.06.007. Epub 2005 Aug 10.


ED, a 83-year-old woman, meets the criteria of pure progressive amnesia, with gradual impairment of episodic and autobiographical memory, sparing of semantic processing and strong working memory (WM) deficit. The dissociation between disturbed WM and spared semantic processing permitted testing the role of WM in processing anaphors like pronouns or repeated names. Results showed a globally normal anaphoric behavior in two experiments requiring anaphoric processing in sentence production and comprehension. We suggest that preserved semantic processing in ED would have compensated for working memory deficit in anaphoric processing.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amnesia / diagnosis*
  • Amnesia / psychology
  • Attention*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Memory, Short-Term*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Phonetics
  • Reading
  • Reference Values
  • Semantics*
  • Verbal Behavior