Comprehension of personally relevant (PERL) versus novel language in two globally aphasie patients

Diana Van Lancker, Claire K.H. Nicklay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Standard, special, and tailor-made tests were given to two patients with global aphasia to test the hypothesis that such patients can recognize personally relevant language material despite deficient comprehension of novel language. Standard and special tests assessed recognition of spoken or written names of familiar-famous persons and landmarks, as well as novel objects, photographs and line drawings. Tests tailor-made for each subject presented names of familiar---intimate persons and personal belongings. Both patients recognized names for familiar-famous and familiar---intimate persons and landmarks, whatever the response mode, consistently better than non-personal words, while no advantage was found for names of personal belongings. In the patient who was retested 2 years post-onset of stroke, recovery of novel word comprehension had improved to the level originally observed for personally relevant language material. These results yield further information on the role of personal relevance (PERL) in cerebral processing and have implications for treatment of severely aphasie individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-61
Number of pages25
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • LPN and LVN


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