Thursday, June 23, 2005

Abstract of the Day: Text-Comprehension Deficits

Ferstl EC, Walther K, Guthke T, & von Cramon DY. Assessment of story comprehension deficits after brain damage. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. 2005 Apr; 27(3): 367-384.

Day Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

A story comprehension task was specifically developed for the clinical diagnosis of text comprehension deficits. The performance of 49 healthy control participants on qualitatively different Yes/No questions confirmed that both salience and explicitness of information had an impact on question difficulty. An unselected group of brain damaged patients (n = 96) made more errors, particularly on questions about implicit information. The subgroup of patients with left-hemispheric vascular aetiology (n = 18) had particular difficulties with stated details, patients with right-hemispheric vascular aetiology (n = 12) with implicit main ideas, and patients with traumatic brain injury (n = 34) were most impaired on implicit information. Correlations with neuropsychological test scores also confirmed that the questions successfully tapped different subprocesses of comprehension. Performance on implicit main ideas was correlated with tests of executive functions, whereas the performance on the other three question types was correlated with long-term memory and verbal learning. These results suggest that the story comprehension test is a useful diagnostic tool for neuropsychological assessment.

PMID: 15969358 [PubMed - in process]
Anthony H. Risser | | |

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