Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, Vol 6, No 1 (2015)

Use of reported speech in the communicative interactions of individuals with ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage

Melissa C. Duff, Jake Kurczek, Margaret A. Miller
Issued Date: 30 Jan 2015

Abstract


Reported speech (RS) is a pervasive discourse practice in which speakers represent, or re-enact, words, thoughts, or feelings from other times and/or places, and it is thought to reflect and create emotional connections among interlocutors. The current study examines the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), a neural structure critical for social, emotional, and interpersonal behavior, in the use of reported speech. In the communicative interactions of six individuals with vmPFC damage and six healthy comparison participants, each interacting with a clinician, we compared the frequency and use of reported speech. Contrary to our predictions, the vmPFC participants did not differ from healthy participants in the frequency or use of reported speech. These results suggest that the vmPFC does not make critical contributions to the use of reported speech in conversation and furthers our understanding of neural and cognitive underpinnings of reported speech and language use.

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DOI: 10.1558/jircd.v6i1.97

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