Neurocognitive basis of repetition deficits in primary progressive aphasia

Sladjana Lukic, Maria Luisa Mandelli, Ariane Welch, Kesshi Jordan, Wendy Shwe, John Neuhaus, Zachary Miller, H. Isabel Hubbard, Maya Henry, Bruce L. Miller, Nina F. Dronkers, Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Previous studies indicate that repetition is affected in primary progressive aphasia (PPA), particularly in the logopenic variant, due to limited auditory-verbal short-term memory (avSTM). We tested repetition of phrases varied by length (short, long) and meaning (meaningful, non-meaningful) in 58 participants (22 logopenic, 19 nonfluent, and 17 semantic variants) and 21 healthy controls using a modified Bayles repetition test. We evaluated the relation between cortical thickness and repetition performance and whether sub-scores could discriminate PPA variants. Logopenic participants showed impaired repetition across all phrases, specifically in repeating long phrases and any phrases that were non-meaningful. Nonfluent, semantic, and healthy control participants only had difficulty repeating long, non-meaningful phrases. Poor repetition of long phrases was associated with cortical thinning in left temporo-parietal areas across all variants, highlighting the importance of these areas in avSTM. Finally, Bayles repetition phrases can assist classification in PPA, discriminating logopenic from nonfluent/semantic participants with 89% accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-45
Number of pages11
JournalBrain and Language
StatePublished - Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.


  • Cortical thickness
  • Length
  • Phrase repetition
  • Primary progressive aphasia
  • Semantics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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