A sentence comprehension test was performed to study the influence of context and syntactic structure on auditory sentence comprehension in aphasics. The subjects were 30 aphasics and 15 persons with no brain damage. The aphasics were divided into 6 groups according to clinical type (fluent/non-fluent) and total test score (low/medium/high). After the presentation of stories, a sentence comprehension test was given which consisted of 60 sentences varying in parameters of context (consistent/inconsistent with the presented stories) and syntactic structure (active/pas-sive). Results were as follows. 1) In non-brain-damaged subjects, both parameters had no influence, all sentences being equally easy to comprehend. 2) In aphasics, both parameters exerted significant influence on comprehension difficulty. a) Inconsistent sentences were more difficult to comprehend than consistent sentences ; this tendecy proved more marked in aphasics with lower scores. b) Passive sentences were more difficult to comprehend than active sentences.
The case of a young girl with developmental word-deafness was reported. Although she uttered jargonic sounds, no meaningful words were heard. Comprehension of spoken language was impossible. Audiometry revealed no hearing defect to account for her delayed speech. Her performance IQ measured by WPPSI was 72 at the age of 6 years and 7 months. Speech therapy was started at age 5, and Japanese “kana” letters were taught to facilitate visual comprehension of language. Articulatory training was also given. In abbition to visual comprehension, some auditory comprehension was developed after treatment. We investigated the developmental process with a specifically designed training program, and concluded that disturbed auditory comprehension seemed to be compensated by relatively intact functional systems of the cortex as follows : 1) Speech sounds were discriminatively perceived by oral kinesthetic feed-back. 2) As mediated by visual images of words, individual speech sounds were recognized as components of words.
Mori and Yamadori (1982) first described a phenomenon of a compulsive manipulation of tools following an occulusion of the left anterior cerebral artery. We have also experienced a similar case and studied especially the clinical state of the compulsive manipulation of objects, a difference between this behavior and other similar phenomena, and the underlying neuropsychological mechanisms. The patient was a 58-year-old man who had suffered from an occulusion of the left anterior cerebral artery. The site of lesion cofirmed by CT scan was the left medial frontal lobe and the anterior corpus callosum. In this case we observed the following characteristics in addition to the instinctive grasp reaction ; (1) He compulsively manipulated objects with his right hand. (2) He also compulsively took foods with the same hand. (3) His left hand inhibited this behavior of the right hand. (4) He used the object with faster rhythm than normal. (5) He could use the object with both hands together. (6) This manipulation of the right hand was repeated unless it was stopped. We considered that this phenomenon was an extension of the grasping reflex, and the release of inhibitory mechanism occurred at the level of the learned movement. Thus the level of disturbance is lower than in the utilization behavior proposed by Lhermitte, but higher than in the instinctive grasp reaction.
We examined 38 fluent aphasic and 42 nonfluent aphasic patients with respect to paraphasic responses by naming tasks. Our main points of focus and results were as follows : 1) Fragmentary syllables and interruption, which should be separated from literal paraphasia, were proposed as independent categories of paraphasic response. The results obtained concerning the correlation justified the separation of these two categories. 2) The occurring frequencies of verbal and literal paraphasias, which were defined in as narrow a sense as possible, were not significantly different between fluent and non-fluent groups. These results suggest that verbal and literal paraphasia might be the common and universal factors in the aphasic phenomena. 3) However, because the frequency of literal paraphasia in the NF group highly correlated with that of anarthria, it is possible that the nature of literal paraphasia is different between fluent and non-fluent aphasics. In that case, hypothesis 2) might become uncertain. 4) Two verbal paraphasia predominant cases and two literal paraphasia predominant cases were selected. However, no clear common lesion could be found in both conditions. There were four anarthria predominant cases, two of which were the same as those of the literal paraphasia predominant. A distinction between anarthria predominant cases in the two sub-groups might be possible, one with deep sited lesions and the other with pre-and postcentral cortico-subcortical sited lesions.