Aprosodia following focal brain damage (Ukaegbe et al., 2022)
Purpose: Hemispheric specialization for the comprehension and expression of linguistic and emotional prosody is typically attributed to the right hemisphere. This study used techniques adapted from meta-analysis to critically examine the strength of existing evidence for hemispheric lateralization of prosody following brain damage.
Method: Twenty-one databases were searched for articles published from 1970 to 2020 addressing differences in prosody performance between groups defined by right hemisphere damage and left hemisphere damage. Hedges’s g effect sizes were calculated for all possible prosody comparisons. Primary analyses summarize effects for four types: linguistic production, linguistic comprehension, emotion comprehension, and emotion production. Within each primary analysis, Hedges’s g values were averaged across comparisons (usually from a single article) based on the same sample of individuals. Secondary analyses explore more specific classifications of comparisons.
Results: Out of the 113 articles investigating comprehension and production of emotional and linguistic prosody, 62 were deemed appropriate for data extraction, but only 21 met inclusion criteria, passed quality reviews, and provided sufficient information for analysis. Evidence from this review illustrates the heterogeneity of research methods and results from studies that have investigated aprosodia. This review provides inconsistent support for selective contribution of the two cerebral hemispheres to prosody comprehension and production; however, the strongest finding suggests that right hemisphere lesions disrupt emotional prosody comprehension more than left hemisphere lesions.
Conclusion: This review highlights the impoverished nature of the existing literature; offers suggestions for future research; and highlights relevant clinical implications for the prognostication, evaluation, and treatment of aprosodia.
Supplemental Material S1. Detailed analyses.
Ukaegbe, O. C., Holt, B. E., Keator, L. M., Brownell, H., Blake, M. L., Lundgren, K., & Right Hemisphere Disorders Working Group, Evidence-Based Clinical Research Committee, Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences. Aprosodia following focal brain damage: What’s right and what’s left? American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2022_AJSLP-21-00302
Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: Select Papers From the 50th Clinical Aphasiology Conference.