Cross-Linguistic Studies of Aphasia View Homepage


Ontology type: schema:MonetaryGrant     


Grant Info

YEARS

1983-2008

FUNDING AMOUNT

3837787 USD

ABSTRACT

Cross-linguistic studies of aphasia permit us to separate universal mechanisms from language-specific content. By uncovering the range of variations that are possible under normal and abnormal conditions, cross-language studies also address the critical issues of behavioral and neural plasticity. In this proposal, we outline new comparative studies of language processing and language breakdown in aphasic patients and controls in three languages (English, Italian and Chinese) that differ dramatically in their lexical and grammatical structure (e.g. amounts of word order variation, inflectional morphology, constituent omission, consistency vs. irregularity of words and morphemes, potential for lexical ambiguity, and the internal structure of words). Patient studies (the classical method of lesion-behavior mapping) are complemented by brain-imaging studies of normals in the same three languages (using functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI). The same materials are used in behavioral and fMRI experiments, in 'on-line', computer- controlled tasks that yield information about the temporal dynamics of word and sentence processing. Nonverbal control tasks are designed to match linguistic tasks in key respects (visual, auditory, and motor activation; demands on memory, attention, decision-making), testing hypotheses about the contributions of modality and sensorimotor demands to language activation (fMRI) and language breakdown (lesion studies). We also expand the concept of "normal control" to include comparisons of normal tested under adverse processing conditions (perceptual degradation, temporal compression, cognitive overload), to uncover 'breakpoints' in processing and to 'simulate' processing disorders in patients. Selection of word and picture stimuli is based on massive norming information collected at all sites in the last funding cycle. The aphasia subgroups under study include nonfluent Broca's aphasics, fluent Wernicke's aphasics, and anomic patients who commit few overt grammatical errors but still struggle to 'find the right word'. Acknowledging the limitations of traditional aphasia categories, we also take a new multivariate approach, analyzing patients' performance on experiments within a continuous, multidimensional symptom space, defined for each language by using large archival data sets (more than 200 patients per language). Results are interpreted within a merger of two theoretical frameworks: the Competition Model (a processing model that assumes interactive activation over distributed, probabilistic representations) and Embodiment Theory (a theory of neural organization for language). More... »

URL

http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=6926072

Related SciGraph Publications

  • 2005-02. An on-line task for contrasting auditory processing in the verbal and nonverbal domains and norms for younger and older adults in BEHAVIOR RESEARCH METHODS
  • 2004-04. Gender and lexical access in Bulgarian in ATTENTION, PERCEPTION, & PSYCHOPHYSICS
  • 2003-11. Timed picture naming: Extended norms and validation against previous studies in BEHAVIOR RESEARCH METHODS
  • 2003-07. The Effect of Grammatical Gender and Semantic Context on Lexical Access in Italian Using a Timed Word-Naming Paradigm in JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLINGUISTIC RESEARCH
  • 2003-06. Timed picture naming in seven languages in BULLETIN OF THE PSYCHONOMIC SOCIETY
  • 2003-05. Voxel-based lesion–symptom mapping in NATURE NEUROSCIENCE
  • 2001-10. Word reading and picture naming in Italian in MEMORY & COGNITION
  • 2000-09. Contextual effects on word production: A lifespan study in MEMORY & COGNITION
  • 1999-11. Effect of Grammatical Gender and Semantic Context on Lexical Access in Italian in JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLINGUISTIC RESEARCH
  • 1999-11. Processing of Grammatical Gender in a Three-Gender System: Experimental Evidence from Russian in JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLINGUISTIC RESEARCH
  • 1999-09. Effects of Grammatical Gender on Picture and Word Naming: Evidence from German in JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLINGUISTIC RESEARCH
  • 1996-06. The temporal structure of spoken sentence comprehension in Chinese in ATTENTION, PERCEPTION, & PSYCHOPHYSICS
  • 1996-01. Gender priming in Italian in ATTENTION, PERCEPTION, & PSYCHOPHYSICS
  • 1995-01. Gender and lexical access in Italian in ATTENTION, PERCEPTION, & PSYCHOPHYSICS
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