[en] A decline of cognitive functioning affecting several cognitive domains was frequently reported in patients with frontotemporal dementia. We were interested in determining if these deficits can be interpreted as reflecting an impairment of controlled cognitive processes by using an assessment tool specifically developed to explore the distinction between automatic and controlled processes, namely the process dissociation procedure (PDP) developed by Jacoby . The PDP was applied to a word stem completion task to determine the contribution of automatic and controlled processes to episodic memory performance and was administered to a group of 12 patients with the behavioural variant of frontotemporal dementia (bv-FTD) and 20 control subjects (CS). Bv-FTD patients obtained a lower performance than CS for the estimates of controlled processes, but no group differences was observed for estimates of automatic processes. The between-groups comparison of the estimates of controlled and automatic processes showed a larger contribution of automatic processes to performance in bv-FTD, while a slightly more important contribution of controlled processes was observed in control subjects. These results are clearly indicative of an alteration of controlled memory processes in bv-FTD.
Centre de Recherches du Cyclotron - CRC ; Centre de Neurosciences Cognitives et Comportementales