Date of Award

Spring 2002

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Bhatnagar, Subhash

Second Advisor

Silverman, Franklin H.

Third Advisor

Korabic, Edward W.

Abstract

Examining the processes of language recovery, and the content of recovered language, during natural restitution of brain-damaged subjects has been an important issue in neurolinguistics. However, natural language recovery is a slow process that lasts months, and thus becomes difficult to observe, measure, and quantify. The intracarotid amobarbital procedure (lAP) is an invasive technique of selective hemispheric anesthetization that has been commonly used in nuerosurgical subjects to primarily identify cerebral dominance. The test allows observation of brain recovery and its language correlates within only 4-10 minutes, allowing a microscopic view of the panoramic recovery of language within a very short period of time. The lAP presents a unique opportunity to examine the stages of lexical recovery and its physiological concomitants in brain damaged subjects. The physiological correlates of individuals undergoing the lAP and individuals who have had a stroke are not identical. However, the linguistic effects of the lAP are one of the closest simulations of the aphasic manifestations seen in stroke patients. The purpose of this study was to use the selective lexical recovery in the lAP to understand the lexical breakdown and its restitutions, on an attempt to compare these findings to the aphasic manifestations observed in stroke patients.

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