Regional Brain Dysfunction Associated with Semantic Errors in Comprehension

Hinna Shahid, Rajani Sebastian, Donna C. Tippett, Sadhvi Saxena, Amy Wright, Taylor Hanayik, Bonnie Breining, Leonardo Bonilha, Julius Fridriksson, Chris Rorden, Argye E. Hillis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Here we illustrate how investigation of individuals acutely after stroke, before structure/function reorganization through recovery or rehabilitation, can be helpful in answering questions about the role of specific brain regions in language functions. Although there is converging evidence from a variety of sources that the left posterior-superior temporal gyrus plays some role in spoken word comprehension, its precise role in this function has not been established. We hypothesized that this region is essential for distinguishing between semantically related words, because it is critical for linking the spoken word to the complete semantic representation. We tested this hypothesis in 127 individuals with 48 hours of acute ischemic stroke, before the opportunity for reorganization or recovery. We identified tissue dysfunction (acute infarct and/or hypoperfusion) in gray and white matter parcels of the left hemisphere, and we evaluated the association between rate of semantic errors in a word-picture verification tasks and extent of tissue dysfunction in each region. We found that after correcting for lesion volume and multiple comparisons, the rate of semantic errors correlated with the extent of tissue dysfunction in left posterior-superior temporal gyrus and retrolenticular white matter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Speech and Language
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Aphasia
  • brain mapping
  • comprehension
  • semantics
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • LPN and LVN
  • Speech and Hearing


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