PSYB65H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Receptive Aphasia, Anomic Aphasia, Temporal Lobe

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18 Nov 2012
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Lecture 11
Brain Damage in Language
Three basic ways to look at language:
1. language has to enter the brain
2. computational part inside the brain
3. output mechanism for language
=> each one is dealt with by a different part of the brain
Aphasia: language problems
1. Language input problems:
Receptive aphasia: problem in receiving language
=> Pure word deafness: problems in relating incoming sounds into representations which allow the understanding of
discourse
=> breaking apart sounds into something that sounds like language
=> problems making language sense out of sounds can hear sounds but cant distinguish language
- info comes from the ear and goes to the part of the temporal lobe where language is input
=> pure word deafness results in stroke near receptive area for audition dorsal portion of temporal lobe
- normal ability to read (language going in through visual system language can still be decoded), write and
speak, cannot repeat what is said, cannot obey commands
2. Computational/integrative problems:
Wernicke’s aphasia: problems in selecting and arranging meaningful units and their eventual conversion into
comprehensible coherent speech (jargon aphasia)
=> ppl make unintelligent statements, often will chatter for long periods w/o making any sense
=> sounds like language, eg has nouns, verbs, conjunctions etc
- in extreme cases can be mistaken for language, sometimes even foreign language, bc intonation exists and has melody
- in milder cases effects much less severe => usually cannot name an object well, but may be close if mild
- sometimes can talk about things that are similar, eg if asked to name hair, may say comb
- use utensils and objects appropriately know what the object is
- respond to commands poorly don’t understand what the person is saying and wants them to do
- cannot repeat what a person is saying can in milder cases but only if short “quip” (something easy that they’re well
familiar with, eg see you later)
- intelligence is affected
=> WAIS, which is used to measure IQ the score is decreased; errors are silly, eg multiply instead of add
- little evidence of any comprehension of written material (can’t read)
=> can read out loud pretty well, but don’t understand what it means
- can write, but usually write the same nonsense as they speak doesn’t make any sense
- no depression expressed - don’t realize that they have a problem w language
Nominal aphasia: anomia; involves difficulties in naming things usually objects; may name something that sounds
similar (like mild Wernicke’s)
=> trying to come up w the word by saying words that sound similar
=> circumlocution talking around things (talking in circles), about what the word is
- generally specific to nouns
=> can use the same word as a verb, and use it in normal speech if it’s a verb, but cant come up w it as a noun
- eg comb don’t know it’s a comb (say it’s a thing used to “comb” your hair) => use it as a verb, but when asked what it
is say they don’t know
- generally involves damage in the angular gyrus => further back of the temporal lobe
=> point where temporal, parietal and occipital lobes all come together
- usually other behavioural problems
=> problems in abstraction, eg asking little sayings for ppl to determine what they mean
=> don’t know what a saying means
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