Dynamic-intentional thalamic aphasia: A failure of lexical-semantic self-activation

Academic Article


  • Previous research has described patients with aphasia from thalamic lesions, some of whom were non-fluent with intact comprehension, others who were fluent with impaired comprehension, and some of whom are non-fluent with impaired comprehension. Whereas these three subtypes usually have normal repetition, they had impaired naming, suggesting a deficit in lexical (phonological word forms)-semantic processing. We report a patient with a left thalamic hemorrhage in which lexical-semantic representations appear to be intact but the patient demonstrates an inability to spontaneously activate his lexical-semantic system Methods: A 82-year-old, right-handed man presented with decreased verbal fluency and memory loss following a thalamic hemorrhage. Neuropsychological assessment revealed significant decrements in verbal fluency with intact naming, comprehension, repetition and vocabulary. Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge this pattern of language disturbance, which mirrors dynamic aphasia induced by frontal lesions, has not previously been described with thalamic injury. The thalamus has strong connections with the frontal lobe and rather than degradation of lexical-semantic representations, this patient's thalamic lesion probably induced frontal lobe dysfunction with a failure to spontaneously active lexical semantic representations. © 2010 Psychology Press.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cox DE; Heilman KM
  • Start Page

  • 313
  • End Page

  • 317
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 4