Spared Comprehension of Emotional Prosody in a Patient With Global Aphasia

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Several studies have demonstrated that patients with right hemisphere damage, when compared with left-hemisphere-damaged controls, are impaired at comprehending emotional prosody. Critics of these studies, however, note that selection may have been biased because left-hemisphere-damaged subjects had good verbal comprehension.


To learn whether a subject with a large left hemisphere stroke and global aphasia could comprehend emotional prosody in spoken material.


The authors formally tested speech and language with the Western Aphasia Battery and comprehension of emotional prosody and emotional facial expression with the Florida Affect Battery.


The patient could not perform verbally mediated tests but demonstrated spared ability to match emotional prosody to emotional facial expressions under a variety of conditions.


These observations further support the idea that verbal and emotional communication systems are independent and mediated by different hemispheres.

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