Cortical and structural connectivity damage correlated with impaired syntactic processing

Den Ouden, Dirk and Malyutina, X and Rorden, X (2014) Cortical and structural connectivity damage correlated with impaired syntactic processing. [Clinical Aphasiology Paper]

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Problems with sentence processing and production are not exclusive to speakers with agrammatic aphasia. Besides peripheral problems with auditory processing or articulatory control, lexical retrieval, attention and short-term memory deficits may all underlie difficulties with organizing words into sentences, applying inflectional morphology and correctly accessing and processing verb argument structure. Lesions that result in sentence processing problems are therefore not homogeneously limited to a small region. However, sentence processing and production can be broken up into components, in order to investigate the brain-behavior relationship in greater detail. The Northwestern Assessment of Verbs and Sentences (NAVS) allows for such investigations, as it consists of several tasks that tap into different components of syntactic processing (Cho-Reyes & Thompson, 2012). In particular, the NAVS focuses on the pivotal role of verbs and verb argument structure in sentence (de)construction. With respect to structural syntactic features that affect sentence processing, it is of interest to investigate deficits that are characterized by greater problems with noncanonical sentence structures, compared to canonical structures. Patients with such a pattern of impairment may be considered to have a specific deficit in complex syntactic processing. Brain-behavior investigations that focus on such patterns may yield greater insight into regions and/or networks that serve a particular role in the syntactic computations that underlie the relation between canonical and noncanonical sentences (Magnusdottir et al., 2013). As part of a larger study into correlations between brain damage and functional deficits, we submitted participants to an MRI scanning protocol that included anatomical scans, diffusion tensor imaging, resting state functional imaging, and perfusion imaging. Such a combination of methods reduces the chance of underestimating the extent of stroke-induced brain damage and its effect on patient symptoms. We investigated correlations with performance on NAVS subtests, as well as with the ratio of performance on canonical versus noncanonical sentence structures.

Item Type: Clinical Aphasiology Paper
Depositing User: Leo Johnson
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2015
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2016 15:13
Conference: Clinical Aphasiology Conference > Clinical Aphasiology Conference (2014 : 44th : St. Simons Island, GA : May 27-June 1, 2014

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