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Review

Semantic Processing in Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review of the N400 Differences

1
CERVO Brain Research Center, Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Québec, Centre Intégré Universitaire de Santé et de Services Sociaux de la Capitale-Nationale, 2601 Chemin de la Canardière, Québec, QC G1J 2G3, Canada
2
Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, Pavillon Ferdinand-Vandry, 1050 Avenue de la Médecine, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(11), 770; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10110770
Received: 18 September 2020 / Revised: 21 October 2020 / Accepted: 21 October 2020 / Published: 23 October 2020
Semantic deficits are common in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). These deficits notably impact the ability to understand words. In healthy aging, semantic knowledge increases but semantic processing (i.e., the ability to use this knowledge) may be impaired. This systematic review aimed to investigate semantic processing in healthy aging and AD through behavioral responses and the N400 brain event-related potential. The results of the quantitative and qualitative analyses suggested an overall decrease in accuracy and increase in response times in healthy elderly as compared to young adults, as well as in individuals with AD as compared to age-matched controls. The influence of semantic association, as measured by N400 effect amplitudes, appears smaller in healthy aging and even more so in AD patients. Thus, semantic processing differences may occur in both healthy and pathological aging. The establishment of norms of healthy aging for these outcomes that vary between normal and pathological aging could eventually help early detection of AD. View Full-Text
Keywords: semantic processing; healthy aging; Alzheimer’s disease; N400; systematic review semantic processing; healthy aging; Alzheimer’s disease; N400; systematic review
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MDPI and ACS Style

Joyal, M.; Groleau, C.; Bouchard, C.; Wilson, M.A.; Fecteau, S. Semantic Processing in Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review of the N400 Differences. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 770. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10110770

AMA Style

Joyal M, Groleau C, Bouchard C, Wilson MA, Fecteau S. Semantic Processing in Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review of the N400 Differences. Brain Sciences. 2020; 10(11):770. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10110770

Chicago/Turabian Style

Joyal, Marilyne, Charles Groleau, Clara Bouchard, Maximiliano A. Wilson, and Shirley Fecteau. 2020. "Semantic Processing in Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review of the N400 Differences" Brain Sciences 10, no. 11: 770. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10110770

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