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Brain. 1983 Sep;106 (Pt 3):613-22.

Drawing objects from memory in aphasia.


The ability of aphasic patients to draw from memory objects with a characteristic shape has been investigated. Their capacity to reproduce the form of real objects was studied by showing them for a short time line drawings of simple objects. When the patient had analysed and recognized the figure, the model was hidden from view and the subject was asked to draw the same object from memory. This Drawing from Memory task was administered to 54 aphasics, 67 patients with right hemisphere lesions, 44 nonaphasic left brain-damaged patients and 23 normal controls. The influence of visuoconstructive disabilities was controlled by administering to the same patients a standard test for constructional apraxia (copying 10 geometrical figures). The severity and clinical form of the aphasia and the presence of semantic-lexical impairment at the receptive level were also examined in the aphasic patients. The following results were obtained. (1) Aphasic patients scored significantly less well than the control groups on the Drawing from Memory task and the intergroup differences became greater when the scores from the test for constructional apraxia were included by an analysis of covariance. (2) No significant correlation was detected between the severity and clinical form of the aphasia and the scores obtained on the Drawing from Memory task. (3) There was a significant correlation between impaired drawing from memory and disruption at the semantic-lexical level of language integration.

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