Testing the limits of language production in long-term survivors of major stroke: A psycholinguistic and anatomic study

Donald Shankweiler, Laura Conway Palumbo, Robert K. Fulbright, W. Einar Mencl, Julie van Dyke, Betty Kollia, Rosalind Thornton, Stephen Crain, Katherine S. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: There is still a dearth of information about grammatical aspects of language production in aphasia. Aims: Making novel use of methods of elicited production aimed at testing the limits of competence, we studied three cases of chronic aphasia, stemming from major stroke. We asked: (1) Whether the elicited production method reveals sparing of language abilities not readily evidenced in spontaneous utterances or on conventional aphasia tests. (2) Which language production abilities survive damage to both Broca's region and Wernicke's region? Materials & Procedures: Targeted words, morphological and syntactic structures were elicited by sentence completion with supporting linguistic and visual context. Targets were never modelled during the procedure. For verbs, visual and auditory contexts emphasise completed actions, targeting past tense forms. Lesion description was based on structural MRI scans. Outcomes & Results: The three participants showed partially spared ability to produce nouns, adjectives, and verb stems in context. The elicitation method proved more productive in some cases than picture prompts or sentence prompts. Past tense inflections were usually omitted. Hence stems and inflections were dissociable. Two participants showed partial success with the passive, and no participant produced a full relative clause, including the relative pronoun, but two produced reduced forms of subject relatives. Partial sparing of production capability in these cases points to the likely importance of portions of the left hemisphere remote from Broca and Wernicke regions. Conclusions: This application of elicited production methodology demonstrates possibilities of lexical, morphological, and syntactic production not evident in spontaneous utterances or by conventional aphasia tests. Some lexical and grammatical capabilities survived massive damage to both anterior and posterior portions of the left hemisphere.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1455-1485
Number of pages31
JournalAphasiology
Volume24
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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Psycholinguistics
psycholinguistics
stroke
Survivors
Language
Stroke
speech disorder
Aptitude
language
Neuropsychological Tests
Aphasia
ability
damages
production method
Linguistics
Mental Competency
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Language Production
Testing
linguistics

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Shankweiler, D., Palumbo, L. C., Fulbright, R. K., Mencl, W. E., van Dyke, J., Kollia, B., ... Harris, K. S. (2010). Testing the limits of language production in long-term survivors of major stroke: A psycholinguistic and anatomic study. Aphasiology, 24(11), 1455-1485. https://doi.org/10.1080/02687031003615227
Shankweiler, Donald ; Palumbo, Laura Conway ; Fulbright, Robert K. ; Mencl, W. Einar ; van Dyke, Julie ; Kollia, Betty ; Thornton, Rosalind ; Crain, Stephen ; Harris, Katherine S. / Testing the limits of language production in long-term survivors of major stroke : A psycholinguistic and anatomic study. In: Aphasiology. 2010 ; Vol. 24, No. 11. pp. 1455-1485.
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abstract = "Background: There is still a dearth of information about grammatical aspects of language production in aphasia. Aims: Making novel use of methods of elicited production aimed at testing the limits of competence, we studied three cases of chronic aphasia, stemming from major stroke. We asked: (1) Whether the elicited production method reveals sparing of language abilities not readily evidenced in spontaneous utterances or on conventional aphasia tests. (2) Which language production abilities survive damage to both Broca's region and Wernicke's region? Materials & Procedures: Targeted words, morphological and syntactic structures were elicited by sentence completion with supporting linguistic and visual context. Targets were never modelled during the procedure. For verbs, visual and auditory contexts emphasise completed actions, targeting past tense forms. Lesion description was based on structural MRI scans. Outcomes & Results: The three participants showed partially spared ability to produce nouns, adjectives, and verb stems in context. The elicitation method proved more productive in some cases than picture prompts or sentence prompts. Past tense inflections were usually omitted. Hence stems and inflections were dissociable. Two participants showed partial success with the passive, and no participant produced a full relative clause, including the relative pronoun, but two produced reduced forms of subject relatives. Partial sparing of production capability in these cases points to the likely importance of portions of the left hemisphere remote from Broca and Wernicke regions. Conclusions: This application of elicited production methodology demonstrates possibilities of lexical, morphological, and syntactic production not evident in spontaneous utterances or by conventional aphasia tests. Some lexical and grammatical capabilities survived massive damage to both anterior and posterior portions of the left hemisphere.",
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Shankweiler, D, Palumbo, LC, Fulbright, RK, Mencl, WE, van Dyke, J, Kollia, B, Thornton, R, Crain, S & Harris, KS 2010, 'Testing the limits of language production in long-term survivors of major stroke: A psycholinguistic and anatomic study', Aphasiology, vol. 24, no. 11, pp. 1455-1485. https://doi.org/10.1080/02687031003615227

Testing the limits of language production in long-term survivors of major stroke : A psycholinguistic and anatomic study. / Shankweiler, Donald; Palumbo, Laura Conway; Fulbright, Robert K.; Mencl, W. Einar; van Dyke, Julie; Kollia, Betty; Thornton, Rosalind; Crain, Stephen; Harris, Katherine S.

In: Aphasiology, Vol. 24, No. 11, 2010, p. 1455-1485.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Shankweiler, Donald

AU - Palumbo, Laura Conway

AU - Fulbright, Robert K.

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AU - Thornton, Rosalind

AU - Crain, Stephen

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