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The cognitive neuroscience of signed language
Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Neuroscience and Locomotion. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Neurology.
Lund University.
2000 (English)In: Acta Psychologica, ISSN 0001-6918, E-ISSN 1873-6297, Vol. 105, no 2-3, 237-254 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present article is an assessment of the current state of knowledge in the field of cognitive neuroscience of signed language. Reviewed lesion data show that the left hemisphere is dominant for perception and production of signed language in aphasies, in a fashion similar to spoken language aphasia. Several neuropsychological dissociations support this claim: Nonlinguistic visuospatial functions can be dissociated from spatial functions and general motor deficits can be dissociated from execution of signs. Reviewed imaging data corroborate the lesion data in that the importance of the left hemisphere is re-confirmed. The data also establish the role of the right hemisphere in signed language processing. Alternative hypotheses regarding what aspects of signed language processing are handled by the right hemisphere are currently tested. The second section of the paper starts by addressing the role that early acquisition of signed and spoken language play for the neurofunctional activation patterns in the brain. Compensatory cognitive and communicative enhancements have also been documented as a function of early sign language use, suggesting an interesting interaction between language and cognition. Recent behavioural data on sign processing in working memory - a cognitive system important for language perception and production suggest e.g. phonological loop effects analogous to those obtained for speech processing. Neuroimaging studies will have to address this potential communality. ⌐ 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2000. Vol. 105, no 2-3, 237-254 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-27948DOI: 10.1016/S0001-6918(00)00063-9Local ID: 12708OAI: diva2:248499
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2011-03-10

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Rönnberg, JerkerSöderfeldt, Birgitta
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The Swedish Institute for Disability ResearchDisability ResearchFaculty of Arts and SciencesFaculty of Health SciencesDepartment of Neuroscience and LocomotionDepartment of Neurology
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