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Brain Lang. 2007 Apr;101(1):64-79. Epub 2006 Nov 22.

Reduced sensitivity to prosodic attitudes in adults with focal right hemisphere brain damage.

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McGill University, School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, 1266 Ave. des Pins Ouest, Montréal, Que., Canada H3G 1A8.


Although there is a strong link between the right hemisphere and understanding emotional prosody in speech, there are few data on how the right hemisphere is implicated for understanding the emotive "attitudes" of a speaker from prosody. This report describes two experiments which compared how listeners with and without focal right hemisphere damage (RHD) rate speaker attitudes of "confidence" and "politeness" which are signalled in large part by prosodic features of an utterance. The RHD listeners displayed abnormal sensitivity to both the expressed confidence and politeness of speakers, underscoring a major role for the right hemisphere in the processing of emotions and speaker attitudes from prosody, although the source of these deficits may sometimes vary.

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