Dysprosody

The prosody is a communicative linguistic function, which results from the intonation, cadence, accent, and physical duration of the words. The prosody enhances the comprehension or the composed words, the basic emotions (rage, fear, sadness, surprise, disgust, pleasure), the subtle emotional aspects of the discourse (irony, sarcasm, deception, boredom, solace), and allows the differentiation of declarative, interrogative, and imperative phrases.

Thus, the expressive (affective) dysprosody is a suprasegmental deficit of language which should not be explained by a motor (dysarthria) or premotor (language apraxia) deficit, nor phonological or aphasic dysfunction (such as agrammatism and anomia). The patients with receptive dysprosody do not understand the emotional information of the phrases or the meaning of gesticulation.

Affective dysprosody could be an early predictor of post-stroke depression.Several studies on brain-damaged patients and normal subjects demonstrated the dominant role of the right hemisphere for prosody. In acute stroke settings, the assessment of dysprosody by bedside tests could help in localizing the lesion to the right hemisphere. Dysprosody, during epileptic seizures, has been linked to right hemisphere foci. The profile of anatomical correlation of prosodic syndromes (motor aprosodia for anterior and receptive dysprosody for posterior lesions) seems to parallel one of the aphasic syndromes of the left hemisphere.

Functional neuroimaging studies on normal subjects also provided a dichotomous scenario for linguistic functions such as the left hemisphere dominance for phonological and phonetic aspects versus the right hemisphere dominance for the emotional aspects.

Dysprosody might be amenable to behavioral treatments.

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