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1- Department of Speech Therapy, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Iran University of medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2- Cellular and Molecular Research Center, and Department of Neuroscience and Anatomy, Iran University of medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3- Iran University of medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
4- Department of Biostatistic, Research Center, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Iran University of medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
5- Linguist, The Academy of Language and Literature, Tehran, Iran
6- Department of Speech Therapy, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Background: This project examined the performance of the Persian-speaking patients with aphasia in sentence comprehension when factor of complexity is considered.

Methods: All of the stimuli were semantic reversible sentences. Their structures included clefts: subject clefts and object clefts; relative clauses: subject relatives and object relatives, all of them were types of movement–derived structures; and also simple declaratives in which there is no structural factor of complexity. The performance of six patients and 15 matched control participants was assessed and compared through these materials. The task of sentence to picture matching was used in order to assess the performance of participants in comprehension of these sentences.

Results: The best performance of aphasic patients was seen in comprehension of subject clefts, although it appears that simple declaratives can be understood easily. They showed the highest difficulty in comprehension of object relatives. Furthermore; the performance of patients in comprehension of relative clauses was significantly poorer than clefts.

Conclusions: The outcome of this study suggests the sentence comprehension deficits in aphasic patients, in contrast to the specific deficit models, might not relate to linguistic disabilities. Moreover, the problems in comprehension of non-canonical sentences is related to failure in allocation of attention. Additionally, working memory deficit is the main source of misunderstanding of longer sentences such as relative clauses. Finally, the performance of aphasics defined a hierarchical difficulty in understanding the relevant structures that has not been investigated before in the Persian language.

Type of Study: Original | Subject: Behavioral Neuroscience
Received: 2016/10/3 | Accepted: 2018/04/30

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