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Gesture and Aphasia

Petra Lott Kaiser

The book consists of two parts, a theoretical and an empirical section. In the theoretical section the reader is thoroughly introduced to the wide field of aphasiology. Different causes of aphasia are described and illustrated in some detail. The discussion of the different aphasia subtypes comprises historical, neuroanatomical, and linguistic information, and is illustrated by three-dimensional pictures showing the cortical areas affected in the fluent and nonfluent aphasias. Another chapter is devoted to the study of gesture. As there is a great deal of controversy in the field of gesture research, the approaches of the most important gesture researchers are introduced, compared and critically commented on. Furthermore, the relationship between gesture and speech is scrutinized. A last chapter of the theoretical section is devoted to the study of gestures in aphasic populations. The empirical part of this book, finally, comprises a study that assesses the gestural behavior of aphasic patients and neurologically unimpaired control subjects under a number of different linguistic conditions.
Contents: The aim of this book is to demonstrate how theoretical issues find an empirical application - It therefore attempts at to answer questions such as: do aphasics gesture more than unimpaired controls? - Do aphasic patients compensate for their speech problems? - Finally, do aphasic patients communicate better than they talk?