Knowledge and Strategies for Processing Lexical Metaphor after Right or Left Hemisphere Brain Damage This study was designed to assess how unilateral right hemisphere brain damage (RHD) affects the knowledge and processing of metaphoric aspects of word meaning. Ambiguous adjectives that could convey either a metaphoric or a literal meaning were used as target words in auditory lexical decision tasks. Targets were preceded by ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1990
Knowledge and Strategies for Processing Lexical Metaphor after Right or Left Hemisphere Brain Damage
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Connie A. Tompkins
    Department of Communication, University of Pittsburgh
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Connie Tompkins, 1101 Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260.
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1990
Knowledge and Strategies for Processing Lexical Metaphor after Right or Left Hemisphere Brain Damage
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1990, Vol. 33, 307-316. doi:10.1044/jshr.3302.307
History: Received July 10, 1989 , Accepted January 5, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1990, Vol. 33, 307-316. doi:10.1044/jshr.3302.307
History: Received July 10, 1989; Accepted January 5, 1990

This study was designed to assess how unilateral right hemisphere brain damage (RHD) affects the knowledge and processing of metaphoric aspects of word meaning. Ambiguous adjectives that could convey either a metaphoric or a literal meaning were used as target words in auditory lexical decision tasks. Targets were preceded by primes that were valid (related to the target’s metaphoric or literal meaning), neutral, or unrelated. Prime-target pairs were presented in two attention conditions, designed to favor either relatively automatic or relatively effortful mental processing, and reaction time data were gathered. RHD stroke patients performed similarly to left-brain-damaged and normal control subjects in the automatic condition, and when provided with specific processing strategies, indicating that they retained some knowledge of metaphoric word meanings. When left to glean strategies for themselves, however, both brain-damaged groups had difficulty. These results and others from the RHD literature are discussed in terms of attentional resource capacity and attentional allocation models.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This work was supported in part by Grant # NS25709 from the National Institutes of Health, by a New Investigator award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, and by the University of Pittsburgh Research Development fund. Much appreciation goes to Susan Jackson, Vicki Francks, Beth Waks, Helen Sharp, and Cyndi Bloise for their assistance with various aspects of the project. Thanks are also due to Harmarville Rehabilitation Center, Presbyterian-University Hospital, and The Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh for providing access to subjects. Drs. Thomas Campbell, Christine Chiarello, and Richard Schulz offered valuable comments on earlier versions of the manuscript.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access