The neural basis of syntactic deficits in primary progressive aphasia

Stephen M. Wilson, Sebastiano Galantucci, Maria Carmela Tartaglia, Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Patients with primary progressive aphasia (PPA) vary considerably in terms of which brain regions are impacted, as well as in the extent to which syntactic processing is impaired. Here we review the literature on the neural basis of syntactic deficits in PPA. Structural and functional imaging studies have most consistently associated syntactic deficits with damage to left inferior frontal cortex. Posterior perisylvian regions have been implicated in some studies. Damage to the superior longitudinal fasciculus, including its arcuate component, has been linked with syntactic deficits, even after gray matter atrophy is taken into account. These findings suggest that syntactic processing depends on left frontal and posterior perisylvian regions, as well as intact connectivity between them. In contrast, anterior temporal regions, and the ventral tracts that link frontal and temporal language regions, appear to be less important for syntax, since they are damaged in many PPA patients with spared syntactic processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-198
Number of pages9
JournalBrain and Language
Volume122
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Keywords

  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Functional MRI
  • Primary progressive aphasia
  • Syntax
  • Voxel-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing

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