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Semantic priming in patients with right frontal lobe lesions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 April 2005


CARRIE R. MCDONALD
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida Veterans Administration San Diego Healthcare System, University of California, San Diego, California
RUSSELL M. BAUER
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
J. VINCENT FILOTEO
Affiliation:
Veterans Administration San Diego Healthcare System, University of California, San Diego, California
LAURA GRANDE
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
STEVEN N. ROPER
Affiliation:
Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Florida Brain Institute, Gainesville, Florida
ROBERT J. BUCHANAN
Affiliation:
Departments of Surgery/Neurosurgery, Psychiatry & Radiology, University of California, San Diego, California
ROBIN GILMORE
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, University of Florida Brain Institute, Gainesville, Florida

Abstract

Patients with unilateral, right frontal lobe damage (N = 13) and matched controls (N = 20) performed a task of lexical ambiguity resolution in order to explore the contribution of right frontal regions to lexical-semantic priming. Word triplets consisting of balanced homographs were presented to participants in four conditions: concordant, discordant, neutral, and unrelated. Controls demonstrated facilitation for concordant meanings of homographs, as evidenced by their faster reaction times in the concordant relative to the unrelated (baseline) condition, as well as a lack of facilitation for the discordant meaning relative to the neutral and concordant conditions. Results in patients with right frontal lobe damage differed depending on the site of the lesion. Patients with lesions restricted to the right medial frontal lobe only showed facilitation in the neutral condition, while those with lesions encroaching upon the right dorsolateral region demonstrated facilitation of both discordant and concordant meanings relative to the baseline condition. These results support a role for the right frontal lobe in semantic priming and suggest possible specialization within the right prefrontal cortex for the processing of lexical-semantic information. (JINS, 2005, 11, 132–143.)


Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2005 The International Neuropsychological Society

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