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Developmental Proper Name Anomia

EasyChair Preprint no. 6496

3 pagesDate: August 31, 2021


This study is the first in-depth report of cases of developmental proper-name anomia. It examines in detail the nature of the impairment, its locus in the name retrieval process and sheds a light on the proper-name retrieval process.

Proper-name retrieval was assessed using a person-picture naming task (155 items) and naming-to-definition tasks (46 items), both adapted by age-group of the participant. Common-name retrieval was assessed from picture (193 items) and from definition (33 items). Performance was compared to aged-matched controls (N=39) using Crawford&Howell’s t-test (1998) and a dissociation analysis (Crawford & Garthwaite, 2005).

Six participants aged 30-49, who reported considerable difficulties in retrieving people’s names since childhood, showed selective developmental proper-name anomia: Their proper-name retrieval was significantly below the control group (p<.05), whereas their common-name retrieval was within the control level; a classical dissociation was found between these tasks (p<.05). They were further tested for the extent and functional locus of their deficit, retrieval of semantic information and more. The difficulty was mostly consistent in different input and output modalities and in verbal fluency tasks. All 6 participants were able to access specific semantic knowledge about a person, while unable to access their name. In one-minute verbal fluency tasks, all participants performed below control in celebrity names retrieval by profession but were at or above control average in common-names (animals and vehicles), with significant group*task interaction (p<.001). Together these findings point to a name-specific deficit in the access from the person-specific semantics to the name in the phonological lexicon. Many Hebrew names are common-names. The participants retrieved the same phonological sequence significantly better when it served as a common-noun than when it was a proper name.

Keyphrases: Anomia, aphasia, language production, lexicon, proper names

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Yaara Petter and Naama Friedmann},
  title = {Developmental Proper Name Anomia},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 6496},

  year = {EasyChair, 2021}}
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