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J Cogn Neurosci. 1998 Jul;10(4):499-508.

On-line evidence for context use by right-brain-damaged patients.

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McGill University, School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


The ability of right-brain-damaged (RBD) patients to use on-line contextual information in a word-monitoring task was examined. Subjects were required to monitor for target words in the contexts of both normal and semantically anomalous sentences. Similar to previous studies with normals (e.g., Marslen;Wilson & Tyler, 1980), the semantic integrity of the context was influential in the word-recognition process. Importantly, the RDB patients performed similarly to normals in showing context effects. These results were interpreted as substantiating the findings of Leonard, Waters, and Caplan (1997a, 1997b) that RBD patients do not present with a specific deficit in the use of contextual information. The results are discussed in terms of proposals that suggest that an impaired ability to use contextual information by RBD patients may be a function of increased processing demands.

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