I.        Glossary—clinical cases involving language disorders and research

II.     Aphasia tests-measures of language disability

A.     Testing involves finding reliable, valid language measures that have some norms as standards of comparison (standardization). A valid test would include measures of all linguistic levels-- sound, lexical, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic. Reading and writing might also be evaluated.

B.     Token test

1.      Twenty objects (tokens) varying in size, shape, and color are used.  There are 62 commands used “touch the white square”  “put the green circle on the red square”:  It distinguishes aphasics from those with normal speech about 90% of the time.  (Alex the Parrot does this too!)

C.     Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination

1.      Goodglass & Kaplan (1972)

a)     Designed to assess aphasic syndrome and cerebral localization, measurement of level of performance initially and over time, serve as guide to therapy

b)    The BDAE has several major sections.  Expository speech, auditory comprehension, oral expression,  understanding auditory comprehension and written language, oral and written expression. COmprehension involves tests of determining who did what to whom-- i.e. computing grammatical relationships as in the Iowa woman video.

(1)   Scores converted to z-scores and compared to standardized scores.
(2)   Short form available on BB

III.  Apraxia

A.     Motor disorder- an impairment of selecting, planning, executing movements in normal fashion.

IV. BOLD imaging

A.     Blood Oxygen Level Dependent images that reflect differential blood flow to various regions of the brain.

V.    Brain regions associated with specific language functions

A.     These may be referred to by Brodman’s areas, traditional region names, e.g. Broca’s area, LH, PFC; or in xyz coordinates (Talairach space). (More on Brodman here.)

(My impression is that reliably defining, much less comparing, brain regions is very tricky--though necessary).

B. Traditionally, beginning with Broca himself, these areas were identified on autopsy and retrospectivey correlated with deficits. Recently online, non-invasive imaging processes, e.g. fMRI, can monitor blood flow (BOLD) to regions. Newer methods on on the way with greater accuracy and especially response time.

TMS (Transcranial_magnetic_stimulation ) offers a way to create the effects of a lesion in a small brain region by temporarily disrupting neuron activity by a rapidly varying electromagnetic field. One recent study claims to localize "morality."

VI. Corpus callosum- neural fibers connecting both hemispheres

A. Severed in "split-brain" surgery; see videos on Vicki, Joe.

VII.           Crainiotomy

A.     Skull surgery

VIII.        CVA

A.     Cerebral vascular accident

IX. Dissociation in language behavior, often in aphasia.

A.     A decorrelation between abilities that might have been expected to be highly correlated.  Here is a typical use..

X.    “Aphasic patients occasionally manifest a dissociated naming ability between objects and actions: this phenomenon has been interpreted as evidence of a separate organization for nouns and verbs in the mental lexicon.”

XI. Dysarthria

A.     A speech disorder due to weak and poorly coordinated speech muscles.  Speech may be slow and imprecise.  It is basically symptom of many problems including cerebral palsy, various degenerative diseases, poisons, and strokes.

XII.           Hemiplegic

A.     Having weakness or paralysis on one side of the body due to damage in the motor cortex and related areas in the opposite side of the brain. LH stroke typically leads to R hand/leg hemiplegia and possible language loss.

XIII.        Hemispherectomy

A.     Surgical removal of one hemisphere to eliminate uncontrollable seizures originating in that hemisphere

XIV.       Speech production

A.     Surpraglottal level—above the larynx

1.      Segmental level

a)     Various consonant-vowel sequences

B.     Laryngeal or glottal level

1.      Phonation – vibration of vocal folds

XV.          TIA (transient ischemic attack)

A.     Brief -seconds to minutes --loss of elements of language skills; predictive of future strokes.  This loss may not be noticed by the individual.

XVI.       Whispered vs voiced speech

A.     During both normally voiced and whispered speech, the activity of the oral articulators — the lips, tongue and jaw — is essentially equivalent. The principal difference is that during voiced speech the larynx undergoes complex adjustments — dynamic modulation of the vocal folds that enables coordination and rapid fine-tuning of subglottal pressures and continuous alternation of voiced and voiceless consonants and vowels. During whispering, on the other hand, the vocal folds generally maintain an open configuration (Monoson and Zemlin, 1984Go; Solomon et al., 1989Go) so that speech is produced in the absence of voice, without the need for precise control of vocal fold dynamics.

With loss of phonation-- stroke, laryngectomy, other? the power of the voice is reduced to a whisper. An electrolarynx can put the buzz back into the voice. See Youtube examples.. Older versions are monotones-- only one F0 as in the Marshal case.

XVII.    Visual displays of speech

A.     The basic units are time (ms), intensity (dB), and frequency (Hz.)

B.     Time x pressure plot (oscillogram)

C.     Spectrogram (plot of time by frequencies, with intensity at each t x f point indicated by darkness/lightness)

D.     Spectrum (plot of intensity by frequency for a given time period.)