Suppression and Facilitation of Pragmatic Performance Effects of Emotional Content on Discourse Following Right and Left Brain Damage Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1993
Suppression and Facilitation of Pragmatic Performance
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ronald L. Bloom
    Hofstra University Hempstead, NY
  • Joan C. Borod
    Queens College and Mount Sinai School of Medicine City University of New York
  • Loraine K. Obler
    City University of New York Graduate Center and Emerson College Boston, MA
  • Louis J. Gerstman
    City College and Graduate Center City University of New York
  • Contact author: Ronald L. Bloom, Speech Arts and Sciences, Davison Hall, 110 Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY 11550.
Article Information
Special Populations / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1993
Suppression and Facilitation of Pragmatic Performance
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1993, Vol. 36, 1227-1235. doi:10.1044/jshr.3606.1227
History: Received June 19, 1992 , Accepted June 30, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1993, Vol. 36, 1227-1235. doi:10.1044/jshr.3606.1227
History: Received June 19, 1992; Accepted June 30, 1993

This study examines the effect of emotional content on the verbal pragmatic aspects of discourse production in right-brain-damaged (RBD), left-brain-damaged (LBD), and normal control (NC) right-handed adults. Subject groups were matched for gender, age, education, and occupation; brain-damaged groups did not differ on months post CVA onset and lesion location. Subjects were screened to ensure that they demonstrated adequate cognitive and visual perceptual skills to participate in the study. Pictorial stimuli were used to elicit discourse that contained emotional and nonemotional (procedural, visuospatial) content. Trained raters evaluated each discourse for appropriateness on seven verbal pragmatic features (e.g., conciseness, quantity, relevancy). Across all three conditions, the brain-damaged groups were impaired relative to NCs. In the nonemotional conditions, LBDs were particularly impaired in pragmatics, whereas in the emotional condition, RBDs demonstrated pragmatic deficits. Emotional content appeared to facilitate pragmatic performance among LBD aphasics and to suppress pragmatic performance among RBDs.

Acknowledgments
A portion of this study is based on a doctoral dissertation by Ronald Bloom at the CUNY Graduate Center. This work was supported, in part, by Hofstra University Research and Development Funds to R. Bloom, and by PSC-CUNY Research Award Nos. 669453 and 662430 and by NIMH Grant Nos. MH42172 and MH44889 to J. Borod. We are grateful to several individuals who assisted in subject selection and analysis: V. Barile, G. Braunfeld, S. De Santi, A. Freund, M. Groher, D. Jagoda, R. Kaufman, D. Lynn, C. Marimaldi, M. Meth, D. Nemcheck, G. Oliver, and S. Xaba. We would like to thank Joan Welkowitz and the reviewers for their comments.
This work Is dedicated to the memory of our friend and collaborator Louis Gerstman, who passed away in March of 1992.
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