Action (verb) generation in HIV-1 infection

TitleAction (verb) generation in HIV-1 infection
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsWoods, SPaul, Carey, C, Troster, AI, Grant, I, HNRC
Date Published2005
KeywordsInternal, Psycholinguistics, Verbal Behavior

It has been proposed that verb generation is primarily associated with left fronto-basal ganglia circuits, whereas the generation of nouns is principally mediated by dominant left temporo-parietal networks. Consistent with this premise, action (verb) fluency - a verbal fluency task requiring the spontaneous generation of verbs - has shown greater sensitivity to frontal-basal ganglia pathophysiology (e.g., dementia in Parkinson's disease (PDD)) than noun fluency. The present study examined action and noun fluency in persons with HIV-1 infection-a disease known to be associated with a frontal-basal ganglia circuit neuropathogenesis. Action and noun ("animals") verbal fluency protocols were administered to 97 persons with HIV-1 infection and 20 demographically comparable healthy comparison (HC) subjects. A significant interaction emerged between verbal fluency task and HIV-1 serostatus such that the HIV+ group generated significantly fewer actions (verbs) relative to the HC sample. Findings indicate that persons infected with HIV-1 experience difficulty rapidly generating verbs, but not nouns from semantic memory. Considering the prominent frontal-basal ganglia circuit neuropathophysiology of HIV-1 infection, these data are consistent with the hypothesized dissociation between noun and verb generation as pertains to generative fluency.