Cognitive Neuroscience


npj Parkinson’s Disease




Formal publication: January 2024

Authors: Toro-Hernández, F. D., Migeot, J., Marchant, N., Olivares, D., Ferrante, F., González-Gómez, R., González Campo, C., Fittipaldi, S., Rojas-Costa, G. M., Moguilner, S., Slachevsky, A., Chaná Cuevas, P., Ibáñez, A., Chaigneau, S., & García, A. M

Abstract: Cognitive studies on Parkinson’s disease (PD) reveal abnormal semantic processing. Most research, however, fails to indicate which conceptual properties are most affected and capture patients’ neurocognitive profiles. Here, we asked persons with PD, healthy controls, and individuals with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD, as a disease control group) to read concepts (e.g., ‘sun’) and list their features (e.g., hot). Responses were analyzed in terms of ten word properties (including concreteness, imageability, and semantic variability), used for group-level comparisons, subject-level classification, and brain-behavior correlations. PD (but not bvFTD) patients produced more concrete and imageable words than controls, both patterns being associated with overall cognitive status. PD and bvFTD patients showed reduced semantic variability, an anomaly which predicted semantic inhibition outcomes. Word-property patterns robustly classified PD (but not bvFTD) patients and correlated with disease-specific hypoconnectivity along the sensorimotor and salience networks. Fine-grained semantic assessments, then, can reveal distinct neurocognitive signatures of PD.