The processing of words and pictures representing actions and objects was tested in 21 aphasic patients and 20 healthy controls across three word production tasks: picture-naming (PN), single word reading (WR) and word repetition (WRP). Analysis 1 targeted task and lexical category (noun-verb), revealing worse performance on PN and verb items for both patients and control participants. For Analysis 2 we used data collected in a concurrent gesture norming study to re-categorize the noun-verb items along hand imagery parameters (i.e., objects that can/cannot be manipulated and actions which do/do not involve fine hand movements). Here, patients displayed relative difficulty with the 'manipulable' items, while controls displayed the opposite pattern. Therefore, whereas the noun-verb distinction resulted simply in lower verb accuracy across groups, the 'manipulability' distinction revealed a 'double-dissociation' between patients and control participants. These results carry implications for theories of embodiment, lexico-semantic dissociations, and the organization of meaning in the brain.
- Noun-verb processing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology