Suppression and discourse comprehension in right brain-damaged adults: A preliminary report

C. A. Tompkins*, A. Baumgaertner, M. T. Lehman, T. R.D. Fossett

*Corresponding author for this work
30 Citations (Scopus)


Eighteen right-hemisphere-damaged (RHD) and 15 control subjects listened to sentences that ended in lexical ambiguities. The sentence verbs biased ambiguity interpretation. Probe words, representing unbiased meanings of the ambiguities, were presented for rapid judgements of their fit with the sentences. In rejecting probe words, both groups showed interference from unbiased meanings of the ambiguities at a short (175 ms) probe interval. Only RHD adults demonstrated interference 1000 ms after sentence offset, indicating that they suppressed contextually inappropriate meanings less effectively than control subjects. Discourse comprehension performance in RHD adults was also correlated with suppression. Theoretical and clinical implications are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4-5
Pages (from-to)505-519
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Research Areas and Centers

  • Health Sciences

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 206-08 Cognitive and Systemic Human Neuroscience
  • 206-07 Clinical Neurology Neurosurgery and Neuroradiology

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