Interpreting ambiguous advertisements

The effect of frontal lobe damage

Samantha Pearce, Skye McDonald*, Max Coltheart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)


Despite intact primary language processes patients with frontal lobe deficits often have impaired communication skills including impaired capacity to understand conversational inference. This study examined the ability of three patients with demonstrated frontal lobe pathology to interpret lexically ambiguous advertisements. When compared to a nonbrain-damaged control group it was found that the frontal lobe patients were poorer at comprehending the abstract or inferred meanings inherent in the advertisements. The pattern of performance across the patients did, nevertheless, differ despite a similar end result. These findings are discussed in relation to theories concerning the contribution of the frontal lobes to language function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-164
Number of pages15
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1998

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