Sign language aphasia

Autor/a: GOLDBERG, Emily B.; HILLIS, Argye Elizabeth
Año: 2022
Editorial: Handbook of Clinical Neurology, 185, 297-315
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Educación » Adquisición y desarrollo del lenguaje, Educación » Aspectos psicológicos y cognitivos


Signed languages are naturally occurring, fully formed linguistic systems that rely on the movement of the hands, arms, torso, and face within a sign space for production, and are perceived predominantly using visual perception. Despite stark differences in modality and linguistic structure, functional neural organization is strikingly similar to spoken language. Generally speaking, left frontal areas support sign production, and regions in the auditory cortex underlie sign comprehension—despite signers not relying on audition to process language. Given this, should a deaf or hearing signer suffer damage to the left cerebral hemisphere, language is vulnerable to impairment. Multiple cases of sign language aphasia have been documented following left hemisphere injury, and the general pattern of linguistic deficits mirrors those observed in spoken language. The right hemisphere likely plays a role in non-linguistic but critical visuospatial functions of sign language; therefore, individuals who are spared from damage to the left hemisphere but suffer injury to the right are at risk for a different set of communication deficits. In this chapter, we review the neurobiology of sign language and patterns of language deficits that follow brain injury in the deaf signing population.