Question Use Following Right Hemisphere Brain Damage.
Theses and Dissertations
Pragmatic communication deficits are among the most recognized deficits following right
hemisphere brain damage (RHD). Deficits in one’s ability to comprehend and produce
appropriate language leads to conversational exchanges that are often unsuccessful. Research to
explore the nature of these deficits has focused primarily on the influence of language
comprehension deficits while language production deficits have been relatively unexplored.
Questions are the most explicit avenue of gathering information. While ineffective question use
has recently been observed in individuals following RHD, there are no known published studies
that investigate question use specifically. The purpose of this study was to determine if people
with RHD use questions differently than people with no history of brain damage (NBD) during
structured tasks and, if so, in what ways. Chi-square and two-sample t-tests were employed to
determine differences in question use. Correlation analyses were conducted to determine if the
use of specific types of questions were associated with cognitive-linguistic performance and
empathy. Results showed that participants with RHD used questions less frequently and
differently than participants with NBD. There were significant group differences in the quantity
and quality of questions used during structured discourse tasks. Moreover, the distribution of
question types was different, especially with respect to the discourse tasks, suggesting that, in
participants with RHD, the use of specific types of questions may vary depending on the task. No
significant correlations were noted between question type and cognitive-linguistic performance
measures or question type and empathy scores.