• Logo
  • SBMUJournals

Semantic Encoding in Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Preliminary ERP Study

Michael Kuo




Background: This study examines semantic encoding in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) using the event-related potential (ERP) technique. Subsequent memory effect (SME) is used as an index of successful memory encoding. Typically, SMEs are positive at P550 and late positive component (LPC) time windows.

Methods: Ten MCI participants were recruited to complete the ERP experiment. A study and recognition paradigm was employed. Participants determined whether the item referred to by the Chinese character was able to produce sound at study phase and whether the Chinese character was studied at recognition phase while having their electroencephalograms recorded.

Results: Behaviourally, correct percentage at study was 81% and reaction time was 998.5±325.5. Correct percentage at recognition was 61% (d prime=0.87±0.7). Significant SMEs were not identified in P550 and LPC windows.

Conclusion: The behavioural and ERP results showed extensive cerebral deficits in MCI when performing semantic encoding. These deficits may be associated with assessing semantic memory and binding new information with long-term memory store.


Event-related potentials; subsequent memory effect; mild cognitive impairment


Petersen RC. Mild cognitive impairment: Aging to Alzheimer's disease. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2003.

Clément F, Belleville S, Mellah S. Functional neuroanatomy of the encoding and retrieval processes of verbal episodic memory in MCI. Cortex. 2010;46:1005-15.

Hudon C, Villeneuve S, Belleville S. The effect of semantic orientation at encoding on free-recall performance in amnestic mild cognitive impairment and probable Alzheimer's disease. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2011;33:631-8.

Kuo MCC. Intentional Encoding in Elderly Adults: An Event-Related Potential Study. Archives of Neuroscience. [Research Article]. 2016:e39145.

Cansino S, Trejo-Morales P, Hernández-Ramos E. Age-related changes in neural activity during source memory encoding in young, middle-aged and elderly adults. Neuropsychologia. 2010;48:2537-49.

Wagner AD, Koutstaal W, Schacter DL. When encoding yields remembering: Insights from event-related neuroimaging. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1999;354:1307-24.

Gauthier S, Reisberg B, Zaudig M, Petersen R, Ritchie K, Broich K, et al. Mild cognitive impairment. Lancet. 2006;367:1262-70.

Pascual-Marqui RD. Standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA): technical details. Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 2002;24:5-12 Suppl D.

van Deursen JA, Vuurman EF, Smits LL, Verhey FR, Riedel WJ. Response speed, contingent negative variation and P300 in Alzheimer's disease and MCI. Brain Cogn. 2009;69:592-9.

Salthouse TA. Initiating the formalization of theories of cognitive aging. Psychol Aging. 1988;3:3-16.

Mangels JA, Picton TW, Craik FIM. Attention and successful episodic encoding: An event-related potential study. Cognitive Brain Research. 2001;11:77-95.

Weyerts H, Tendolkar I, Smid HG, Heinze HJ. ERPs to encoding and recognition in two different inter-item association tasks. Neuroreport. 1997;8:1583-8.

Visser M, Jefferies E, Lambon Ralph MA. Semantic processing in the anterior temporal lobes: a meta-analysis of the functional neuroimaging literature. J Cogn Neurosci. 2010;22:1083-94.

Belleville S, Gilbert B, Fontaine F, Gagnon L, Ménard E, Gauthier S. Improvement of episodic memory in persons with mild cognitive impairment and healthy older adults: Evidence from a cognitive intervention program. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2006;22:486-99.

Rapp S, Brenes G, Marsh AP. Memory enhancement training for older adults with mild cogntive impairment: a preliminary study. Aging Ment Health. 2002;6:5-11.

Troyer A, Murphy K, Anderson N, Moscovitch M, Craik FI. Changing everyday memory behaviour in amnestic mild cognitive impairment: A randomised controlled trial. Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2008;18:65-88.

Wenisch E, Cantegreil-Kallen I, De Rotrou J, Garrigue P, Moulin F, Batouche F, et al. Cognitive stimulation intervention for elders with mild cognitive impairment compared with normal aged subjects: preliminary results. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2007;19:316-22.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/icnj.v4i2.16639


  • There are currently no refbacks.