Effects of prosody on the cognitive and neural resources supporting sentence comprehension: A behavioral and lesion-symptom mapping study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


External Institution(s)

  • Arizona State University
  • Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, AZ


Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104756
JournalBrain and Language
StatusPublished - Apr 2020


Non-canonical sentence comprehension impairments are well-documented in aphasia. Studies of neurotypical controls indicate that prosody can aid comprehension by facilitating attention towards critical pitch inflections and phrase boundaries. However, no studies have examined how prosody may engage specific cognitive and neural resources during non-canonical sentence comprehension in persons with left hemisphere damage. Experiment 1 examines the relationship between comprehension of non-canonical sentences spoken with typical and atypical prosody and several cognitive measures in 25 persons with chronic left hemisphere stroke and 20 matched controls. Experiment 2 explores the neural resources critical for non-canonical sentence comprehension with each prosody type using region-of-interest-based multiple regressions. Lower orienting attention abilities and greater inferior frontal and parietal damage predicted lower comprehension, but only for sentences with typical prosody. Our results suggest that typical sentence prosody may engage attention resources to support non-canonical sentence comprehension, and this relationship may be disrupted following left hemisphere stroke.

    Research areas

  • Angular gyrus, Aphasia, Attention, Broca's area, Cognition, Prosody, Sentence comprehension, Working memory