Friday, February 7, 2020

Word comprehension in people with left temporal lobe damage

[This is a snippet from a book I'm (slowly) working on for MIT Press. The comprehension task we used here was adapted from Baker et al. 1981 and looked like this, where the auditory presented word to be comprehended was "bear" or on other trials "pear":


With the help of my collaborator and former student Corianne Rogalsky, I probed our chronic stroke dataset, identifying 24 cases of left unilateral temporal lobe damage. The image below shows a lesion overlap map with warmer colors indicating more overlap across patients. 

The average score on the bear-pear-moose-grapes test was 97.9% correct; 16 people had a perfect score, 6 got 95%, and the 2 lowest scorers were at 90% accuracy. Not bad given the sustained damage to Wernicke’s area.

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