Psychological Research

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 391–405 | Cite as

Recognition deficits resulting from focussed attention in aphasia

  • Rudolf Cohen
  • Gerhild Woll
  • Walter H. Ehrenstein


Two nonverbal short-term memory tasks, a Picture Recognition and a Paired Association Task, were performed by matched groups of aphasics and brain-damaged controls (N=52 each). For both tasks the alternatives on the answer forms differed systematically on three dimensions, one of which had been highlighted experimentally for each item before the target picture was indicated. In both tasks aphasics made more errors than braindamaged controls only with respect to those features that had been stressed beforehand; they were less able than controls to take advantage of focussed attention. The number of these errors was correlated with performance in the Token Test, a picture naming and a word comprehension task.

There were no differences between the groups in response to variations in the semantic saliency of the discriminating features or in the semantic and phonetic relationship between words denoting the reference stimuli. The lack of interactions might have been due to a strong ceiling effect in both tasks.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rudolf Cohen
    • 1
  • Gerhild Woll
    • 1
  • Walter H. Ehrenstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Sozialwissenschaftliche FakultätFachgruppe Psychologie der Universität KonstanzKonstanzGermany

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