Cases reported "Language Disorders"

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1/5. Semantic dementia. Progressive fluent aphasia with temporal lobe atrophy.

    We report five patients with a stereotyped clinical syndrome characterized by fluent dysphasia with severe anomia, reduced vocabulary and prominent impairment of single-word comprehension, progressing to a stage of virtually complete dissolution of the semantic components of language. A marked reduction in the ability to generate exemplars from restricted semantic categories (e.g. animals, vehicles, etc.) was a consistent and early feature. Tests of semantic memory demonstrated a radically impoverished knowledge about a range of living and man-made items. In contrast, phonology and grammar of spoken language were largely preserved, as was comprehension of complex syntactic commands. reading showed a pattern of surface dyslexia. Autobiographical and day-to-day (episodic) memory were relatively retained. Non-verbal memory, perceptual and visuospatial abilities were also strikingly preserved. In some cases, behavioural and personality changes may supervene; one patient developed features of the kluver-bucy syndrome. Radiological investigations have shown marked focal temporal atrophy in all five patients, and functional imaging by single positron emission tomography and positron emission tomography (one case) have implicated the dominant temporal lobe in all five. In the older literature, such cases would have been subsumed under the rubric of Pick's disease. Others have been included in series with progressive aphasia. We propose the term semantic dementia, first coined by Snowden et al. (1989), to designate this clinical syndrome.
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keywords = animal
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2/5. Category-specific naming and comprehension impairment: a double dissociation.

    We describe 2 neurologically impaired patients with lesions involving primarily the left temporal lobe, whose production and comprehension of words in the semantic category of animals were disproportionately spared in 1 case and disproportionately impaired in the other, in comparison to performance with other common categories. This double dissociation provides neurally based evidence for the view that lexical-semantic information is organized categorically.
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keywords = animal
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3/5. Lexical organization of nouns and verbs in the brain.

    The analysis of neuropsychological disorders of lexical processing has provided important clues about the general organization of the lexical system and the internal structure of the processing components. Reports of patients with selective dysfunction of specific semantic categories such as abstract versus concrete words, living things versus inanimate objects, animals, fruits and vegetables, proper names and so forth, support the hypothesis that the neural organization of the semantic processing component is organized in these categories. There are reports of selective dysfunction of the grammatical categories noun and verb, suggesting that a dimension of lexical organization is the grammatical class of words. But the results reported in these studies have not provided unambiguous evidence concerning two fundamental questions about the nature and the locus of this organization within the lexical system. Is the noun-verb distinction represented in the semantic or in the phonological and orthographic lexicons? Is grammatical-class knowledge represented independently of lexical forms or is it represented separately and redundantly within each modality-specific lexicon? Here we report the performance of two brain-damaged subjects with modality-specific deficits restricted principally (H.W.) or virtually only (S.J.D) to verbs in oral and written production, respectively. The contrasting performance suggests that grammatical-class distinctions are redundantly represented in the phonological and orthographic output lexical components.
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keywords = animal
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4/5. A study of some factors affecting generalization of language training.

    Two related experiments examined generalization across contexts involving different sentence forms when selected grammatical features were trained within a single syntactic context. Results obtained within a single-subject multiple baseline design showed that training the verbal/auxiliary (contracted with pronoun he) was sufficient to induce its generalization across a variety of verbs, object noun phrases, and a different subjective case pronoun, but not across an objective case pronoun. Similar results were obtained for the uncontractible auxiliary in the past tense. Generalization of the uncontractible auxiliary in the present tense was noted across different verbs; so also was the generalization of contractible copula to different adjectives qualifying the subjective case pronouns he and she (but not in qualifying an objective case pronoun it). Finally, generalization of possessive s inflection across male, female, and animal categories was evident. Trained behavior generalized to home situation in one of the experiments. Some unexpected results also suggest that training on certain forms of either verbal auxiliary or copula may be sufficient to generate correct production of both of them.
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keywords = animal
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5/5. Auditory deprivation--an intrinsic or extrinsic problem? Some comments on Kyle (1978).

    The relevance of animal work to early auditory deprivation, as discussed by Kyle (1978), is questioned. It is argued that auditory experience from birth, or even much later, is not necessarily required for subsequent hearing for spoken language. It is also questioned whether concern for intrinsic difficulties, such as possible cortical damage resulting from auditory deprivation, is appropriate. A more productive approach may be to pay more attention to the extrinsic aspect--the linguistically principled rehabilitation of the hearing-impaired child.
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