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Poster D2, Friday, August 17, 4:45 – 6:30 pm, Room 2000AB

Neural correlates of nonverbal executive performance in chronic post-stroke aphasia

Rahel Schumacher1, Matthew A. Lambon Ralph1;1Neuroscience and Aphasia Research Unit, University of Manchester, UK

There is increasing interest in the interrelation of language and other cognitive functions in stroke aphasia. However, data on attentional and executive (dys)functions in individuals with stroke aphasia are still scarce. Moreover, lesion information is rarely taken into account. Thus, an extensive selection of standardized nonverbal neuropsychological tests was administered to 38 individuals with chronic post-stroke aphasia in addition to language testing and magnetic resonance imaging. A principal component analysis yielded three components underlying the performance in the nonverbal tests of attention and executive function (shift-update, inhibit-generate, speed). Individual scores on each component were included in a voxel-based correlational morphology analysis. The first two components were associated with significant clusters. The shift-update component was associated with a subcortical cluster mainly comprising parts of the left thalamus, and with a more posterior left temporo-occipital cluster. The inhibit-generate component was associated with bilateral regions, including medial frontal areas. These findings fit well with other lines of research showing that these brain regions are involved in executive functioning and also seem to play a role in recovery from aphasia. In conclusion, our findings extend the multidimensionality of stroke aphasia and underline the importance of executive and attention functions. Furthermore, including data on these aspects of cognition - together with their associated neural correlates - might significantly improve outcome prediction as well as influence therapeutic interventions.

Topic Area: Control, Selection, and Executive Processes