[Artificial intelligence meeting neuropsychology. Semantic memory in normal and pathological aging]

Geriatr Psychol Neuropsychiatr Vieil. 2015 Mar;13(1):88-96. doi: 10.1684/pnv.2015.0520.
[Article in French]


Artificial intelligence (IA) is the subject of much research, but also many fantasies. It aims to reproduce human intelligence in its learning capacity, knowledge storage and computation. In 2014, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) started the restoring active memory (RAM) program that attempt to develop implantable technology to bridge gaps in the injured brain and restore normal memory function to people with memory loss caused by injury or disease. In another IA's field, computational ontologies (a formal and shared conceptualization) try to model knowledge in order to represent a structured and unambiguous meaning of the concepts of a target domain. The aim of these structures is to ensure a consensual understanding of their meaning and a univariant use (the same concept is used by all to categorize the same individuals). The first representations of knowledge in the AI's domain are largely based on model tests of semantic memory. This one, as a component of long-term memory is the memory of words, ideas, concepts. It is the only declarative memory system that resists so remarkably to the effects of age. In contrast, non-specific cognitive changes may decrease the performance of elderly in various events and instead report difficulties of access to semantic representations that affect the semantics stock itself. Some dementias, like semantic dementia and Alzheimer's disease, are linked to alteration of semantic memory. We propose in this paper, using the computational ontologies model, a formal and relatively thin modeling, in the service of neuropsychology: 1) for the practitioner with decision support systems, 2) for the patient as cognitive prosthesis outsourced, and 3) for the researcher to study semantic memory.

Keywords: artificial intelligence; cognitive aging; computational ontology; dementia; semantic memory.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Memory Disorders / psychology
  • Neuropsychology*