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Implicit Inferencing Deficits in Non-Fluent Variant Primary Progressive Aphasia

EasyChair Preprint no. 6595

2 pagesDate: September 13, 2021


The current study aims to investigate (a) the explicit and implicit inferencing abilities of  patients with non-fluent variant primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA) as compared to controls, (b) whether performance on syntactic comprehension predicts explicit and implicit inferencing to the same extent, and (c) whether executive top-down functions such as verbal working memory (WM) mediates these relations.  Fourteen participants with nfvPPA along with eighteen language-unimpaired adults performed a listening comprehension task (Cain & Oakhill, 1999) that measured explicit and implicit inferencing, a syntactic comprehension, and a digit-span backwards task. Simple linear regression was used to show predictive values for behavioral measures (digit span, and explicit and implicit inferencing scores), and multiple linear regression was used to reveal verbal WM mediation effects. The nfvPPA patients performed significantly lower than controls in all measures. Performance on syntactic comprehension significantly predicted performance on implicit inferencing only. Syntactic comprehension alone had less predictive power of implicit inferencing scores than syntactic comprehension combined with digit-span backwards, thus, suggesting a partial mediation effect of digit-span backwards for implicit inferencing. The findings indicate that syntactic comprehension deficits are associated with implicit but not explicit inferencing in nfvPPA. Importantly, verbal WM mediated the relation between syntactic comprehension and implicit language inferencing in nfvPPA. This pattern indicates that a top-down deficit of nfvPPA in executive functions, such as verbal WM, may partially explain the patients’ pragmatic impairments.


Cain, K., & Oakhill, J. V. (1999). Inference making ability and its relation to comprehension failure in young children. Reading and Writing, 11, 489-503.

Keyphrases: implicit inferencing, non-fluent variant, pragmatics, primary progressive aphasia, syntactic comprehension, verbal working memory

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Eleni Peristeri and Kyrana Tsapkini},
  title = {Implicit Inferencing Deficits in Non-Fluent Variant Primary Progressive Aphasia},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 6595},

  year = {EasyChair, 2021}}
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