Journal List > Dement Neurocogn Disord > v.12(2) > 1120816

Choi, Sung, Jeong, and Kwag: Noun-Verb Dissociation in a Confrontation Naming Task for Persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment



The concept of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) refers to a transitional period between normal aging and clinically demented state such as Alzheimer's disease. Detection of individuals with MCI is critical for prognosis of the disease progression and treatment of patients at risk. The current study manipulated linguistic complexity in naming nouns and verbs to examine whether the linguistically different entities contribute to differentiating individuals with MCI from normal elderly adults. Specific aims of the study are 1) to investigate the noun-verb dissociation in naming between the MCI and normal control groups and 2) to examine the differential effects between the groups depending on the linguistic subtypes of nouns (animate vs. inanimate) and verbs (the argument structure).


Twenty normal elderly individuals and 19 individuals with MCI participated in this study. A confrontation naming task was employed. Nouns were divided into the two subtypes (animate vs. inanimate), and verbs were classified into the three subtypes depending on the number of argument (1-place, 2-place, and 3-place).


Results revealed that there were significant differences between the groups, indicating that individuals with MCI showed worse performance on naming in general than the control group. Furthermore, the MCI group presented differentially impaired performance on verbs than nouns compared to the control group.


The results from the current study suggested that performance on a verb confrontation naming task could serve as a sensitive index to differentiate the MCI group from normal aging group.

Figures and Tables

Fig. 1
Accuracy rate on noun and verb naming in two groups.
Fig. 2
Accuracy rate on subtype of verb in two groups.
Table 1
Demographic characteristics of Normal aging group and MCI


Table 2
Descriptive analyses of accuracy rate on Noun and Verb naming in two groups
Table 3
Descriptive analyses of accuracy rate on two subtypes of noun
Table 4
Descriptive analyses of accuracy rate on three subtypes of verb


The work was supported by the Ewha Global Top5 Grant 2013 of Ewha Womans University.


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