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A unified neurocognitive model of semantics language social behaviour and face recognition in semantic dementia

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Chen, Keliang 
Liu, Haoming 
Huang, Lin 
Chen, Yan 


Abstract: The anterior temporal lobes (ATL) have become a key brain region of interest in cognitive neuroscience founded upon neuropsychological investigations of semantic dementia (SD). The purposes of this investigation are to generate a single unified model that captures the known cognitive-behavioural variations in SD and map these to the patients’ distribution of frontotemporal atrophy. Here we show that the degree of generalised semantic impairment is related to the patients’ total, bilateral ATL atrophy. Verbal production ability is related to total ATL atrophy as well as to the balance of left > right ATL atrophy. Apathy is found to relate positively to the degree of orbitofrontal atrophy. Disinhibition is related to right ATL and orbitofrontal atrophy, and face recognition to right ATL volumes. Rather than positing mutually-exclusive sub-categories, the data-driven model repositions semantics, language, social behaviour and face recognition into a continuous frontotemporal neurocognitive space.


Funder: Chinese Scholarship Council

Funder: National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFC1306305)

Funder: ERC grant (GAP: 670428 - BRAIN2MIND_NEUROCOMP)


Article, /631/378/2649/1594, /631/378/1689/132, /692/699/375/132, /692/617/375/132, /59/57, article

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Nature Communications

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Nature Publishing Group UK
National Natural Science Foundation of China (National Science Foundation of China) (81171019, 31872785)
Natural Science Foundation of Beijing Municipality (Beijing Natural Science Foundation) (7182088)
RCUK | Medical Research Council (MRC) (MR/R023883/1, MC_UU_00005/18)