Discourse comprehension problems often follow right hemisphere damage, but are poorly understood. Recent evidence linking these problems with ineffective suppression of irrelevant information leads to a hypothesis that a 'suppression deficit' is one factor in poor comprehension. RHD adults also have trouble grasping nonliteral meanings and generating inferences, particularly in conditions that tax attention or working memory. Two studies are proposed with RHD and normally aging control subjects, to integrate these findings and to examine the generality of the suppression deficit hypothesis. The first study will use a dual task to evaluate the attentional demands of suppression. Subjects will hear sentences containing ambiguous words, and judge whether a spoken probe word fits the sentence meaning. The measure of suppression is the time needed to reject probes related to contextually-inappropriate meanings of the ambiguities. Subjects will perform the same task in a dual-task context, with three emphases for attention allocation. The second study will evaluate a central premise of the suppression deficit hypothesis (i.e. multiple potential meanings are activated but the irrelevant ones are then poorly suppressed) against another recent proposal (RHD adults do not activate the semantic information needed for inferencing.) Subjects will listen to passages that induce inferences to integrate ambiguous final sentences. They will make lexical decisions to target words that are related to either the intended inference, or to an alternate inference suggested by the ambiguous sentence. The suppression deficit hypothesis predicts that both inferences will be 'primed' and rapidly available. In both studies, comprehension tasks will be given to evaluate the influence of multiple meaning activation and ineffective suppression on comprehension.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DC001820-07
Application #
6055820
Study Section
Sensory Disorders and Language Study Section (CMS)
Project Start
1993-09-01
Project End
2001-08-31
Budget Start
1999-09-01
Budget End
2000-08-31
Support Year
7
Fiscal Year
1999
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Pittsburgh
Department
Miscellaneous
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
053785812
City
Pittsburgh
State
PA
Country
United States
Zip Code
15213
Yang, Ying; Tompkins, Connie A; Meigh, Kimberly M et al. (2015) Voxel-Based Lesion Symptom Mapping of Coarse Coding and Suppression Deficits in Patients With Right Hemisphere Damage. Am J Speech Lang Pathol 24:S939-52
Blake, Margaret Lehman; Tompkins, Connie A; Scharp, Victoria L et al. (2015) Contextual Constraint Treatment for coarse coding deficit in adults with right hemisphere brain damage: generalisation to narrative discourse comprehension. Neuropsychol Rehabil 25:15-52
Tompkins, Connie A; Meigh, Kimberly; Scott, April Gibbs et al. (2009) Can high-level inferencing be predicted by Discourse Comprehension Test performance in adults with right hemisphere brain damage? Aphasiology 23:1016-1027
Lederer, Lisa Guttentag; Scott, April Gibbs; Tompkins, Connie A et al. (2009) Imageability effects on sentence judgement by right-brain-damaged adults. Aphasiology 23:1005-1015
Tompkins, Connie A; Scharp, Victoria L; Fassbinder, Wiltrud et al. (2008) A different story on ""Theory of Mind"" deficit in adults with right hemisphere brain damage. Aphasiology 22:42-61
Tompkins, Connie A; Fassbinder, Wiltrud; Scharp, Victoria L et al. (2008) Activation and maintenance of peripheral semantic features of unambiguous words after right hemisphere brain damage in adults. Aphasiology 22:119-138
Tompkins, Connie A; Scharp, Victoria L; Meigh, Kimberly M et al. (2008) Coarse coding and discourse comprehension in adults with right hemisphere brain damage. Aphasiology 22:204-223
Scharp, Victoria L; Tompkins, Connie A; Iverson, Jana M (2007) Gesture and aphasia: Helping hands? Aphasiology 21:717-725
Tompkins, Connie A; Fassbinder, Wiltrud; Lehman Blake, Margaret et al. (2004) Inference generation during text comprehension by adults with right hemisphere brain damage: activation failure versus multiple activation. J Speech Lang Hear Res 47:1380-95
Lehman-Blake, M T; Tompkins, C A (2001) Predictive inferencing in adults with right hemisphere brain damage. J Speech Lang Hear Res 44:639-54

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