A neurobehavioral approach to dysprosody

John J. Sidtis, Diana Van Lancker Sidtis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Much of the recent emphasis on prosody (the melody and rhythm of speech) and its disorders (dysprosody) has been on cognitive-affective functions attributed to cortical areas of the right cerebral hemisphere, with little further behavioral or neuroanatomical specification. This focus is inappropriately narrow both from the perspectives of neuropathogenesis and neurobehavioral phenomenology, and it is based on a limited view of prosody. Current models of brain organization for prosody propose lateralized representation based on functional (affective vs. linguistic) or featural (timing vs. pitch) properties of prosodic material. However, a role for subcortical structures in prosody is being increasingly described, and prosodic functions are now known to span a broad range in communication. In this article we describe normal prosody and present an overview of neurobehavioral disorders associated with acquired adult dysprosody. From these considerations we propose a neurobehavior-based approach to a more effective study of prosodic disturbance, and eventually, to better insight into normal prosody.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-105
Number of pages13
JournalSeminars in Speech and Language
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2003


  • Basal ganglia
  • Dysprosody
  • Effect
  • Prosody
  • Speech

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • LPN and LVN
  • Speech and Hearing


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