Iranian Journal of Neurology © 2014 The assessment of pragmatics in Iranian patients with right brain damage
Pragmatics is appropriate use of language across a variety of social contexts that provides accurate interpretation of intentions. The occurrence of the right hemisphere lesions can interfere with pragmatic abilities, and particularly with the processing of nonliteral speech acts. Methods: Since the objective of this study was to assess different aspects of pragmatic competence in the right hemisphere damage (RHD) patients, 20 Iranian patients with right hemisphere lesions were examined by
... pragmatic profile (APP) and a novel checklist was introduced for Persian language speaking individuals. Meanwhile, 40 healthy adult individuals, who were age and gender matched with RHD patients, were considered as the control group. After obtaining video records, all subjects were evaluated for 35 pragmatic skills, including 24 verbal, 5 paralinguistic, and 6 nonverbal aspects, by a two-point scale system. Results: Studying RHD patients and their healthy counterparts revealed that the performance by participants with right hemisphere lesions exhibited a high degree of inappropriate pragmatic abilities compared with controls in all domains. Furthermore, RHD patients showed a trend of increasing difficulty in understanding and producing different pragmatic phenomena, including standard communication acts. Conclusion: Present results indicated that the right hemisphere lesions significantly affected pragmatic abilities in verbal, paralinguistic and nonverbal aspects. Such a pattern of performance, which is in line with deficits previously reported for RHD, proved the unquestioned role of the right hemisphere in processing nonliteral language.