Successful short-term re-learning and generalisation of concepts in semantic dementia.
Taylor & Francis
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Taylor & Francis via the DOI in this record.
Reason for embargo
Patients with semantic dementia (SD) can rapidly and successfully re-learn word labels during cognitive intervention. This new learning, however, usually remains rigid and context-dependent. Conceptual enrichment (COEN) training is a therapy approach aimed to produce more flexible and generalisable learning in SD. In this study we compare generalisation and maintenance of learning after COEN with performance achieved using a classical naming therapy (NT). The study recruited a 62-year-old woman with SD. An AB1ACAB2 experimental design was implemented, with naming performance assessed at baseline, post- intervention, 3 and 6 weeks after the end of each treatment phase. Three generalisation tasks were also assessed pre- and post-intervention. Naming post-intervention improved significantly following both therapies, however, words trained using COEN therapy showed a significantly greater degree of generalisation than those trained under NT. In addition, only words trained with COEN continued to show significant improvements compared with baseline performance when assessed 6 weeks after practice ceased. It was concluded that therapies based on conceptual enrichment of the semantic network facilitate relearning of words and enhance generalisation in patients with SD.
Published online 28 September 2016
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