A metaphor comprehension intervention for patients with right hemisphere brain damage: A pilot study

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kristine Lundgren, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: This intervention program addresses an important need in the clinical literature: tools for remediation of communication deficits associated with right hemisphere brain damage (RHD). Our program is motivated by the literature documenting non aphasic communication deficits, including deficits in metaphor comprehension, subsequent to RHD (Joanette et al., 1990, Myers, 1999 and Tompkins, 1995). The intervention is based on two themes. One is that RHD, particularly in posterior regions, limits a patient’s ability to process “coarse grained” semantic information such as, for example, weak or connotative associations between words (Beeman, 1998). A second notion is that lesion in frontal regions (in either hemisphere) can affect working memory and thereby curtail a patient’s ability to review information and to select the most relevant alternative from a set (e.g., Tompkins, Bloise, Timko, & Baumgaertner, 1994). For example, the concepts “family” and “cradle” each give rise to several associations, as illustrated in the figure below. The metaphor “a family is a cradle” works if a listener can generate a broad range of associations to each concept and, then, can identify appropriate shared associations, such as safety and comfort.

Additional Information

Brain and Language, 99(1-2), 69-70
Language: English
Date: 2006
Metaphor, Figurative language, Right hemisphere brain damage

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