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Numerical skills and aphasia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 1999

MARGARETE DELAZER
Affiliation:
Universitätsklinik, Innsbruck, Austria
LUISA GIRELLI
Affiliation:
University College, London, U.K.
CARLO SEMENZA
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, BRAIN Neuroscience Center, Trieste, Italy
GIANFRANCO DENES
Affiliation:
Clinica Neurologica, Padova, Italy

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate numerical difficulties in 50 patients with left hemispheric lesions. Aphasic patients were grouped according to their type of aphasia diagnosed by the Aachener Aphasia Test. The overall error rate in various transcoding and calculation tasks was clearly correlated with the severity of the language deficit, global aphasics being the most impaired patients. Broca's and Wernicke's aphasics scored similarly at the quantitative level, and amnesic aphasics were less impaired. Interestingly, qualitative analysis of the errors indicated that each group presented with specific difficulties, partially reflecting the nature of the language problems. In simple calculation, multiplication was found to be the most impaired operation, in particular in Broca's aphasics. This result supports the hypothesis that the retrieval of multiplication facts is preferentially mediated by verbal processing. Calculation procedures were mainly impaired in Wernicke's and global aphasics. (JINS, 1999, 5, 213–221.)

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 1999 The International Neuropsychological Society

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