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Neuropsychologia. 2014 Nov;64:282-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.09.042. Epub 2014 Oct 2.

Cognitive correlates of narrative impairment in moderate traumatic brain injury.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Umane, University of Udine, Via Margreth, 3-33100 Udine, Italy; IRCCS "E. Medea: La Nostra Famiglia", San Vito al Tagliamento (Pn), Italy. Electronic address:
Centro Puzzle, Torino, Italy; Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università di Torino, Italy.


Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are often associated with communicative deficits. The incoherent and impoverished language observed in non-aphasic individuals with severe TBI has been linked to a problem in the global organization of information at the text level. The present study aimed to analyze the features of narrative discourse impairment in a group of adults with moderate TBI (modTBI). 10 non-aphasic speakers with modTBI and 20 neurologically intact participants were recruited for the experiment. Their cognitive, linguistic and narrative skills were thoroughly assessed. The persons with modTBI exhibited normal phonological, lexical and grammatical skills. However, their narratives were characterized by lower levels of Lexical Informativeness and more errors of both Local and Global Coherence that, at times, made their narratives vague and ambiguous. Significant correlations were found between these narrative difficulties and the production of both perseverative and non-perseverative errors on the WCST. These disturbances confirm previous findings which suggest a deficit at the interface between cognitive and linguistic processing rather than a specific linguistic disturbance in these patients.


Language; Moderate traumatic brain injury; Narrative analysis; Neurolinguistics; Neuropsychology

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