Neural signatures of predictive language processing in parkinson’s disease with and without mild cognitive impairment
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bioRxiv 2020.11.23.392647; [doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.11.23.392647]
SponsorshipFundació la Marató de TV3 2014/U/477 and 20142910; Center for Biomedical Research and Neurodegenerative Resources (CIBERNED); FPU15/05554 (FPU "Ayudas para la Formación de Profesorado Universitario") of the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport; PERIS (expedient number: SLT008/18/00088) of Generalitat de Catalunya; Río Hortega CM17/00209 of Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) (Spain); FIS PI18/01717. HB -K; Río Hortega CM15/00071 of Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) (Spain)
Cognitive deficits are common in Parkinson’s disease (PD), with some PD patients meeting criteria for mild cognitive impairment (MCI). An unaddressed question is whether linguistic prediction is preserved in PD. This ability is nowadays deemed crucial in achieving fast and efficient comprehension, and it may be negatively impacted by cognitive deterioration. To fill this gap of knowledge, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to evaluate mechanisms of linguistic prediction in a sample of PD patients (on dopamine compensation) with and without MCI. To this end, participants read sentence contexts that were predictive or not about a sentence-final word. The final word appeared after 1 second, matching or mismatching the prediction. The introduction of the interval allowed to capture neural responses both before and after sentence-final words, reflecting semantic anticipation and processing. PD patients with normal cognition (N = 58) showed ERP responses comparable to those of matched controls. Specifically, in predictive contexts, a slow negative potential developed prior to sentence-final words, reflecting semantic anticipation. Later, expected words elicited reduced N400 responses (compared to unexpected words), indicating facilitated semantic processing. Besides, PD patients with MCI (N = 20) showed a prolongation of the N400 congruency effect (compared to matched PD patients without MCI), indicating that further cognitive decline impacts semantic processing. Finally, lower verbal fluency scores correlated with prolonged N400 congruency effects and with reduced pre-word differences in all PD patients (N = 78). This relevantly points to a role of deficits in temporal-dependent mechanisms in PD, besides prototypical frontal dysfunction, in altered semantic anticipation and semantic processing during sentence comprehension.