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Lecture 11 Neuropsychology of brain damage and language: The aphasias

3 ways to look at language

1) Language has to come in and be deciphered
2) Computate language and integrated language
3) There has to be an output mechanism for language and it needs to be expressed


-some kind of problem with language

Input side of language aphasias

1) Receptive Aphasias
---Pure word deafness

Pure Word deafness

-it is problems in relating incoming sounds into representations which allow the understanding of discourse.
- they have a problem with making language sense of sounds
-they can hear sounds but cannot distinguish language
"voice comes but no words, i can hear, sounds come but words don't separate, cannot understand it"
-usually involves dorsal portion of the temporal lobe where the sound comes into the temporal lobe

What can they do?

-a normal ability to read, write and speak
-cannot repeat what is said
-cannot obey commands

Wernicke's Area

-nuts and bolts of language, where language is processed from sensory inputs(hearing, reading etc)

Integrative Aphasias

-problems in putting together information, the nuts and bolts of language
-problems in selecting and arranging meaningfull units and their eventual conversion into comprehensible coherent speech

Wernicke's Aphasia

-sometimes also referred to as jargon aphasia
-people make unintelligeble statements
-often they will talk for a long period of time without makign any sense at all(in extreme cases)
-it sounds like language but its not real, its garbage

Symptoms of Wernicke's

-depends on the amount of damage
- in milder cases the effects are much less severe
-cannot name object well, in mild cases they're close, sometimes related to categorical way or they sound similar(paper vs pepper)
-they can use objects correctly
-respond to commands poorely, cannot repeat words, in milder cases they can if they're very familiar or they practice a lot

More symptoms of Wernicke's

-IQ is generally down
-singing is intact
-little evidence of comprehension when they read, they can read out loud but they don't understand what it means
-they can write but write the same garbage as they speak
-family feels like the person is gone, patients themselves don't have depression

Nominal Aphasia

-sometimes referred to as anomia
-it involves difficulties to name things
-unable to name objects
-sometimes they say words that are sort of similar
-they'll also do what we call circumlocution
-generally specific to nouns
-they can use word(that they can't name) as a verb, use it in normal speech as long as its a verb
-anomia generally involves damage a bit more posterior to wenicke called angular gyrus


In its most basic form, circumlocution is using many words (such as "a tool used for cutting things such as paper and hair") to describe something simple ("scissors").

Angular Gyrus

damage can result in anomia or nominal aphasia

Other problems for Nominal Aphasia

- problems in abstraction
-problems with persevaration, they get something stuck in their head and they keep using it even if its not right

Intergrated type aphasias

ability to repeat
- conduction aphasia
-two transcortical aphasia
-1)transcortical motor aphasia
2) transcortical sensory aphasia
-Isolation of Speech area

Conduction aphasia

-person cannot repeat
-they have good comprehension
-they have fluent speech

transcortical motor aphasia

-have good comprehension but little spontaneous speech
-can repeat perfectly

transcortical sensory aphasia

-poor comprenhension but good spontaneous speech
-can repeat perfectly

Isolation of Speech area

-results from someone beign deprived of oxygen for a certain period of time, most commonly caused by a suicide
-they repeat everything they hear
-they do not have spontaneous speech and they do not comprehend

Expressive Aphasias

deals with getting problems out, expressing language, not in integrating or recieving language
-involves speech exiting the brain

Broca's aphasia

-involves damage to broca's area, which is clsoe the the area that controls mouth and little bit more anterior
-the output part of language

Symptoms of Aphasia

-Broca's area is responsible for the conversion of ideas, perceptions and intended messages into smoothly articulated patterns of speech

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