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Brain. 2000 Aug;123 ( Pt 8):1634-42.

Transcortical sensory aphasia: revisited and revised.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Otolaryngology, Biostatistics and Neurosurgery and The Krieger Mind/Brain Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


Transcortical sensory aphasia (TSA) is characterized by impaired auditory comprehension with intact repetition and fluent speech. We induced TSA transiently by electrical interference during routine cortical function mapping in six adult seizure patients. For each patient, TSA was associated with multiple posterior cortical sites, including the posterior superior and middle temporal gyri, in classical Wernicke's area. A number of TSA sites were immediately adjacent to sites where Wernicke's aphasia was elicited in the same patients. Phonological decoding of speech sounds was assessed by auditory syllable discrimination and found to be intact at all sites where TSA was induced. At a subset of electrode sites where the pattern of language deficits otherwise resembled TSA, naming and word reading remained intact. Language lateralization testing by intracarotid amobarbital injection showed no evidence of independent right hemisphere language. These results suggest that TSA may result from a one-way disruption between left hemisphere phonology and lexical-semantic processing.

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