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Lecture 11

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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 tempora
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