There is compelling evidence that semantic memory is involved in emotion recognition. However, its contribution to the recognition of emotional valence and basic emotions remains unclear. We compared the performance of 10 participants with the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), a clinical model of semantic memory impairment, to that of 33 healthy participants using three experimental tasks assessing the recognition of: 1) emotional valence conveyed by photographic scenes, 2) basic emotions conveyed by facial expressions, and 3) basic emotions conveyed by prosody sounds. Individuals with svPPA showed significant deficits in the recognition of emotional valence and basic emotions (except happiness and surprise conveyed by facial expressions). However, the performance of the two groups was comparable when the performance on tests assessing semantic memory was added as
Keywords: Semantic memory; basic emotions; emotion recognition; emotional valence; semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia.