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date: 25 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Communication requires interdependent functioning of large portions of the brain, and damage to any of these systems can disrupt effective and appropriate communication. Damage to the right hemisphere or basal ganglia can result in difficulty using or understanding prosodic contours in speech. Prosody includes pitch, loudness, rate, and voice quality, and is used to convey emotional connotation or linguistic intent. A disorder in the comprehension or production of prosody is known as aprosodia; affective aprosodia is a specific deficit affecting emotional or affective prosodic contours. The right hemisphere has been shown to play a critical role in processing emotional prosody and aprosodia syndromes resulting from damage to right hemisphere areas have been proposed. These include an expressive aprosodia resulting from anterior damage and a receptive aprosodia resulting from more posterior damage. Assessment and diagnosis of aprosodia in clinical settings are often perceptually based; however, acoustic analyses of means and ranges of frequency, intensity, and rate provide an instrumented analysis of prosody production. The treatment of aprosodia following stroke has received scant attention in comparison to other disorders of communication, although a few studies investigating cognitive–linguistic and imitative treatments have reported some positive results.

Keywords: aprosodia, right hemisphere damage, rehabilitation, affective prosody, basal ganglia, emotional expression, aprosodia assessment, aprosodia treatment, emotional communication

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