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How right hemisphere damage after stroke can impair speech comprehension

Gajardo-Vidal, A; Lorca-Puls, D; Hope, T; Parker Jones, O; Seghier, M; Prejawa, S; Crinion, J; ... Price, C; + view all (2018) How right hemisphere damage after stroke can impair speech comprehension. Brain , 141 (12) pp. 3389-3404. 10.1093/brain/awy270. Green open access

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Abstract

Acquired language disorders after stroke are strongly associated with left hemisphere damage. When language difficulties are observed in the context of right hemisphere strokes, patients are usually considered to have atypical functional anatomy. By systematically integrating behavioural and lesion data from brain-damaged patients with fMRI data from neurologically-normal participants, we investigated when and why right hemisphere strokes cause language disorders. Experiment 1 studied right-handed patients with unilateral strokes that damaged the right (n = 109) or left (n = 369) hemispheres. The most frequently impaired language task was: auditory sentence-to-picture matching after right hemisphere strokes; and spoken picture description after left hemisphere strokes. For those with auditory sentence-topicture matching impairments after right hemisphere strokes, the majority (n = 9) had normal performance on tests of perceptual (visual or auditory) and linguistic (semantic, phonological or syntactic) processing. Experiment 2 found that these nine patients, had significantly more damage to dorsal parts of the superior longitudinal fasciculus and the right inferior frontal sulcus compared to 75 other patients who also had right hemisphere strokes but were not impaired on the auditory sentence-to-picture matching task. Damage to these right hemisphere regions caused long-term speech comprehension difficulties in 67% of patients. Experiments 3 and 4, used fMRI in two groups of 25 neurologically-normal individuals to show that, within the regions identified by Experiment 2, the right inferior frontal sulcus was normally activated by (i) auditory sentenceto-picture matching and (ii) one-back matching when the demands on linguistic and nonlinguistic working memory were high. Together, these experiments demonstrate that the right inferior frontal cortex contributes to linguistic and non-linguistic working memory capacity (executive function) that is needed for normal speech comprehension. Scientifically, our results link previously unrelated literatures on the role of the right inferior frontal cortex in executive processing and the role of executive processing in sentence comprehension; which in turn helps to explain why right inferior frontal activity has previously been reported to increase during recovery of language function after left hemisphere stroke. The clinical relevance of our findings is that the detrimental effect of right hemisphere strokes on language is (i) much greater than expected, (ii) frequently observed after damage to the right inferior frontal sulcus, (iii) task dependent, (iv) different to the type of impairments observed 3 after left hemisphere strokes and (v) can result in long-lasting deficits that are (vi) not the consequence of atypical language lateralisation.

Type: Article
Title: How right hemisphere damage after stroke can impair speech comprehension
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/brain/awy270
Publisher version: https://doi.org/doi:10.1093/brain/awy270
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: right-hemisphere stroke; lesion-deficit mapping; fMRI; sentence comprehension; working memory
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Brain Repair and Rehabilitation
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058688
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