there is currently limited information about the effects of dementia diseases on semantic memory for music: memory for musical objects and concepts. Here we review available evidence and emerging research directions in semantic memory for music in the degenerative dementias. Neurodegenerative pathologies affect distributed brain networks and can therefore provide a perspective on musical semantic memory that complements the traditional neuropsychological paradigm of the focal brain lesion. Recent work suggests that semantic memory for music may be fractionated and may share certain cognitive organizational principles with semantic memory for other kinds of material. Profiles of impairment on different dimensions of musical semantic memory may show some specificity for particular dementia diseases (for example, semantic dementia versus Alzheimer's disease).
- Received January 4, 2011.
- Accepted September 17, 2011.
- © 2012 by The Regents of the University of California