Sparing of written production of proper nouns and dates in aphasia

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Abstract

Aphasia is a total or partial loss of the ability to produce or understand language, usually caused by brain disease or injury. In this case study, the aphasic patient (BMW) has a profound impairment of oral production and a very moderate impairment in comprehension. Several years of informal observation lead to the current study that contrasts written naming of common nouns to written naming of proper nouns and dates. BMW named professional ice hockey players, team logos, and provided birthdays of players with near perfect accuracy and normal rates of production. In contrast, his performance on naming common nouns was only 50% accurate and appeared very laborious. The results of this study thus show a clear preservation of date and proper noun production in contrast to common nouns.

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