Abstract and Keywords
Conduction aphasia is a syndrome characterized by impaired repetition in the context of relatively preserved auditory comprehension and fluent speech. The classical conceptualization of conduction aphasia as a disconnection syndrome has been undermined in recent years. Nevertheless, this diagnosis delineates a small subset of individuals with aphasia who have many common cognitive and anatomical characteristics. Conduction aphasia is associated with damage to a relatively narrow and well-defined group of left hemisphere brain structures, which may include the posterior superior temporal lobe, the inferior parietal lobe, and the insula. According to current cognitive neuropsychological frameworks, an impairment in phonological planning for speech production is the common underlying cognitive dysfunction in the majority of cases, which may sometimes be accompanied by an analogous impairment in receptive phonology. Other common features, such as sentence repetition problems and reduced short-term memory span, may be a secondary consequence of the primary phonological impairment. Current approaches to the treatment of conduction aphasia target the underlying impairment in phonological planning. It is argued that the diagnosis of conduction aphasia can be a useful first step toward understanding a person’s language difficulties and planning effective treatment interventions.
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