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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers an overview of the pragmatic and social communication disorders that can occur after an alteration of the brain, as best exemplified by individuals with right hemisphere damage. It also discusses the theoretical approaches developed to explain indirect speech act comprehension and inference impairments affecting conversational and narrative comprehension. Similar deficits have been described in other brain-damaged populations such as individuals with traumatic brain injuries, early dementia, and some forms of aphasia. Taken together, deficits of discourse and social aspects of communication abilities show they depend upon the integrity of brain networks that are widely distributed over the brain. These deficits need to be better recognized and described with reference to the underlying cognitive processes involved in order to move toward a more efficient way of helping these individuals participate in society again.

Keywords: Pragmatics, Social cognition, Right-brain damage, Prosody, Inference, Theory of mind

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