Hemispheric contributions to lexical ambiguity resolution: Evidence from individuals with complex language impairment following left-hemisphere lesions

David A. Copland, HJ Chenery, Bruce E. Murdoch

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Nine individuals with complex language deficits following left-hemisphere cortical lesions and a matched control group (n = 9) performed speeded lexical decisions on the third word of auditory word triplets containing a lexical ambiguity. The critical conditions were concordant (e.g., coin-bank-money), discordant (e.g., river-bank-money), neutral (e.g., day-bank-money), and unrelated (e.g., river-day-money). Triplets were presented with all interstimulus interval (ISI) of 100 and 1250 ms. Overall, the left-hemisphere-damaged subjects appeared able to exhaustively access meanings for lexical ambiguities rapidly, but were unable to reduce the level of activation for contextually inappropriate meanings at both short and long ISIs, unlike control subjects. These findings are consistent with a disruption of the proposed role of the left hemisphere in selecting and suppressing meanings via contextual integration and a sparing of the right-hemisphere mechanisms responsible for maintaining alternative meanings. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science (USA).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-143
Number of pages13
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
Event2nd International Conference on the Mental Lexicon - MONTREAL, Canada
Duration: 1 Oct 2000 → …

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