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Smiths - Neuropsychology Glossary
Category: Health and Medicine > Neuropsychology Glossary
Date & country: 14/10/2007, UK
An inability on the part of a control system to establish a smooth level of performance, and believed to be responsible in biological systems for clinical signs such as tremor.Hyperkinetic Dysarthria
One of the six clinically distinct subtypes of dysarthria recognised by Darley, Aronson, and Brown (1975). [There is a longer discussion of the subtypes of dysarthria in Section 6.8 of our e-paper on `Speech Errors, Speech Production Models, and Speech Pathology`.]Hypokinetic Dysarthria
One of the six clinically distinct subtypes of dysarthria recognised by Darley, Aronson, and Brown (1975). [There is a longer discussion of the subtypes of dysarthria in Section 6.8 of our e-paper on `Speech Errors, Speech Production Models, and Speech Pathology`.]Infarct
An area of cardiac, neural, or other cell death (necrosis) following interruption of blood supply (ischaemia), perhaps due to thrombosis, embolism, or haemorrhage. A cerebral infarct would be expected following a CVA.Infection
`Invasion of the body by harmful organisms` (Oxford Dictionary for Nurses).Injury
See trauma (1).Insult
In its clinical sense, that which brought about the current disorder, be it disease or injury.Ischaemia
Reduced blood flow. Relevant within neuropsychology when it affects the brain's blood supply, and then potentially a sign of cerebro-vascular disease. [See now transient ischaemic attack.].Jargon Aphasia
(Sometimes jargonaphasia.) An aphasia in which speech is produced rapidly and incomprehensibly, with frequent neologisms. Occurs as three subtypes, namely semantic jargon, neologistic jargon, and phonemic jargon. [There is a longer discussion of jargon aphasia in Section 6.6 of our e-paper on `Speech Errors, Speech Production Models, and Speech Pathology`.]Korsakow's Syndrome
See Wernicke-Korsakow Syndrome.Lesion
Any area of damaged tissue as a result of disease or trauma.Lesion Momentum
The speed of development of a lesion (e.g. CVA or tumour). Relevant to aphasiology because the severity of the resulting impairment often seems to be as much determined by lesion momentum as by that lesion's actual extent. Lexicon (1)
Term used by linguists to denote the mental word store in its entirety. [Compare lexicon (2) and semantic lexicon.] [There is an expanded definition of this term in our psycholinguistics glossary.]Lexicon (2)
Term used by cognitive neuropsychologists to denote a word form store within a specific information processing route. [Compare lexicon (1).] [There is an expanded definition of this term in our psycholinguistics glossary.]Lichtheim's house
Diagram by Lichtheim (1885). Relates different types of aphasia to a proposed `three-box` functional organisation of language in the brain.Logogen
Term coined by Morton (e.g. 1979) for a word form and-or the store in which it is held. Every discernible type of word form is allocated its own logogen, meaning that there are several such stores. For example, input and output word forms would be in different stores because one was inherently perceptual (sound or shape) and one inherently behavioural (phonatory or writing skill). Similarly, with the spoken and the written word. Same thing as a lexicon (2).Logorrhoea
Word diarrhoea. Incessant chatter.Lower Motor Neuron
See our e-handout on `The Pyramidal and Extrapyramidal Motor Systems`.Malignant
Of tumours, one which is cancerous. [Compare benign.]Matching-to-Sample
A method of response used with patients who would otherwise be unable to respond verbally. Patients are presented with stimuli in the modality under investigation (ie as the spoken word, written word, physical object, or whatever), and allowed to respond by pointing towards the desired response in an array of possible responses. [For an example, see Warrington and McCarthy's (1987) work with patient YOT.]Metastasis
(Plural metastases, or colloquially `mets`.) A `secondary` cancer, that is to say, one which has `spread` some distance away from a primary site, and frequently to a totally different organ.MID
See multiple infarct dementia.Mindblindness
See the detailed definition in our Psycholinguistics Glossary.Mixed Dysarthria
One of the six clinically distinct subtypes of dysarthria recognised by Darley, Aronson, and Brown (1975). [There is a longer discussion of the subtypes of dysarthria in Section 6.8 of our e-paper on `Speech Errors, Speech Production Models, and Speech Pathology`.]Modality-Specific Anomia
One of the nine clinically distinct subtypes of anomia (1) recognised by Benson (1979). An anomia in which there is a naming defect for objects presented in one sensory modality, but not for the same objects in a different modality. Gnosis is intact. In optic aphasia, for example, a wristwatch might fail to elicit the name word if shown visually, but be immediately named (by touch) if physically placed in the patient's hand.Multiple-Infarct Dementia (MID)
[See firstly cerebro-vascular accident and dementia.] A dementia-like gradual deterioration of cognitive function resulting from a succession of small strokes (rather than from the `plaques` associated with Alzheimer's disease). Necrosis
Any area of cell death, possibly an infarct.Neologism
An idiosyncratic word. A jargon word, not found in any dictionary. [Compare paraphasia, where the selection is a real word, but not the right one.]Neologistic Jargon
One of three clinically distinct subtypes of jargon aphasia. Jargon characterised by the frequent use of neologisms. [Compare phonemic jargon and semantic jargon.]Neoplasm
[Literally `new structure`.] Alternative term for cancer.Neural Network
An artificial cell assembly. [See the detailed definition in our Main Glossary (MNO).]Neuromarketing
This is the name given to the application of neuroscience by marketing professionals. [See the detailed definition in our Main Glossary (MNO).]Non-Fluent Aphasia
An aphasia characterised by impaired word production. Two types of aphasia are usually classed as non-fluent, namely Broca's aphasia and transcortical motor aphasia. [Compare fluent aphasia.]Oedema
Tissue swelling following damage. A frequent complication of a cerebro-vascular accident or closed head injury.Optic Aphasia
An aphasia characterised by a modality-specific anomia, that is to say, by problems naming pictorially presented stimuli, but with preserved tactile recognition and generally intact visual gnosis.Organic Disorder
A disorder of the physical body, such as occurs with an infection or physical trauma. Compare and contrast psychogenic disorders.Paralexia
A lexical selection error during reading out loud [compare paraphasia]. The production of one word when another is meant. Occurs as two sub-types, namely semantic paralexia and phonemic paralexia. [See Marshall and Newcombe (1973) for detailed case examples and discussion.]Paramnesia
An incomplete amnesia characterised by disorganised, contradictory, and muddled recall (especially of times and places), rather than complete non-recall. [See confabulation, deja vu, and false recollection.]Paraphasia
A lexical selection error during conversational speech [compare paralexia]. The production of one word when another is meant. Occurs as two sub-types, namely semantic paraphasia and phonemic paraphasia. [Compare neologism.]Paresis
State of reduced power to, and fine control of, the skeletal muscles. Occurs as a result of damage to the pathways exciting muscular contraction. [Compare spasticity.]Penetrating Head Injury
A class of traumatic head injury. A `sharp instrument` bang on the head, such as occurs with pointed weapons, gunshot wounds, shrapnel, etc. Involves penetration of the skull and meningeal layers, and direct damage to brain tissue. [Compare closed head injury.]Peripheral Dyslexia
A subtype of acquired dyslexia proposed by Shallice and Warrington (1980), wherein the main deficit is in early visual analysis. [Compare deep dyslexia.]Perseveration
[See firstly frontal lobe syndrome and dysexecutive syndrome.] A motor system problem in which the accurate production of a complex behaviour is corrupted by residual elements from an earlier behaviour. Perseveration is a common sign of dysexecutive syndrome, and may manifest itself as repetitive copying of letters or shapes in a pen-and-paper copying task, or as an inability to switch sorting criteria in one of the frontal battery sorting tasks. Goldberg and Costa (1986) identify a number of perseveration subtypes, from a low-level `inability to terminate the execution of elementary movements` (p50) to a `higher-order cortical perseveration` in which patients `cannot shift completely from one motor task to another` (p50). To cope with this complexity, they recommend `a hierarchical model of executive function` (p54). [We give several examples of perseveration in our e-paper on `From Frontal Lobe Syndrome to Dysexecutive Syndrome`.]Phonemic Cueing
A type of cueing. Involves giving the initial sound(s) of the target word in the hope that this will help the patient access the lost speech output patterns (e.g. `It begins with a /k/ .....`). Make sure you say the sound, and not the alphabetical name of the letter. Frequently very successful. [Compare first letter cueing, semantic cueing and silent articulatory cueing.]Phonemic Jargon
One of three clinically distinct subtypes of jargon aphasia. Jargon characterised by the frequent use of rhymes and alliterations. [Compare neologistic jargon and semantic jargon.]Phonemic Paraphasia
A paraphasia where the mis-selection is due to phonemic confusion, that is to say, where the actual utterance bears a sound similarity to the intended utterance (e.g. `shark` for `sharp`). [Compare semantic paraphasia.]PLE
See paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis.Post-Traumatic Amnesia (PTA)
An amnesia associated with a traumatic head injury. Most brain traumas, and especially concussions and seizures are accompanied by a period of unconsciousness, recovery from which can take time. This is followed by a degree of confusion, especially as to personal identity, date, and the circumstances leading to the hospitalisation.Praxis
The capacity for voluntary bodily movement. [Caution: when considering willed movement, it is worth remembering that nobody has yet located the will which does the willing!]Premorbid
The period before the onset of the disease or injury in question.Progressive Disorder
A disorder which takes time to develop, but where the deterioration is largely irreversible. Eg: Alzheimer's disease.Prosopagnosia
[Greek prosopon = `face`.] An agnosia specifically for familiar faces, despite generally preserved visual perception. First formally named by Bodamer (1947) [timeline].Pseudobulbar Palsy
Facial and/or pharyngeal palsy resulting from damage to upper motor neurons in the corresponding sectors of the primary motor cortex. [Compare bulbar palsy.]Psychogenic Disorder
A mental (i.e. psychiatric) rather than physical (i.e. bodily) disorder. Compare and contrast organic disorders.Qualia
[Single quale.] `The properties of sensory experiences` (The Free Dictionary, 2004). The hotness of something hot, or the redness of something red, as experienced by the conscious mind.Reductionism
The doctrine that things can be best explained by analysing them into their component parts.Reduplicative Paramnesia
A clinical sign. Specifically, a form of confusion as to location which results in memories of familiar places being incorrectly merged or relocated (ie. `duplicated`). McCarthy and Warrington (1990) offer the example of patients who think that their hospital room is some sort of an extension to their original dwelling place. Stuss and Benson (1986) review the literature here and conclude that the right parietal and frontal lobes are regularly implicated in patients displaying this behaviour.Representation, First Order
A state of mental activation in which a number of concept nodes are (a) activated, and (b) allocated specific linguistic roles in order to support a proposition [Psycholinguistics Glossary] of the form < [MAIN CLAUSE] subject - mental verb - [SUBORDINATE CLAUSE AS OBJECT] subordinator - embedded subject - complementiser - complement> [for definitions of these grammatical terms, see Psycholinguistics Glossary]. Example: `Tom knows that snow is white`. [Now compare representation, second order.]Representation, Second Order
[See firstly representation, first order.] A state of mental activation in which additional concept nodes are used to expand the propositional complexity of the ongoing thought process by subordinating what is already a first order representation. The resulting form is < [MAIN CLAUSE] subject - mental verb - [FIRST SUBORDINATE CLAUSE AS OBJECT] subordinator - first embedded subject - [SECOND SUBORDINATE CLAUSE AS OBJECT] subordinator - second embedded subject - complementiser - complement>. It follows that second order representations will therefore always be one mental verb longer than first order ones [ExampleRepresentation, Third Order
[See firstly representation, second order.] A state of mental activation in which additional concept nodes are used to expand the propositional complexity of the ongoing thought process by subordinating what is already a second order representation. It follows that third order representations will therefore always be one mental verb longer than second order ones [ExampleResection
`Surgical removal of a portion of any part of the body` (Oxford Dictionary for Nurses).Retrograde Amnesia
An amnesia which acts backwards in time from the moment of insult. It is therefore characterised by a difficulty accessing aspects of personal past life such as personal identity and episodic memories. Past semantic knowledge, on the other hand, is largely spared. [Compare anterograde amnesia.]RHS
See right hemisphere syndrome.Right Hemisphere Syndrome (RHS)
A pattern of disabilities typically associated with a right-hemisphere lesion in right handers. Such lesions, of course, damage the non-dominant hemisphere. There are many typical clinical signs, but the overall effect is that linguistic skills are retained (because the dominant hemisphere is intact) and yet communicative competence is poor. The damage, in other words, is to higher functional areas such as semantics [Memory Glossary] and pragmatics [Psycholinguistics Glossary]. Language remains syntactically correct but complexity, richness, metaphor, figurativeness, and abstractness suffer. It is frequently difficult to distinguish the important from the irrelevant. Things are taken too literally. In addition, prosodic comprehension and production is lacking. [For more detail, see Myers and Mackisack (1990).]Sarcoma
A cancer of connective tissue, including muscle, fat, bone, cartilage, and blood. [Compare carcinoma.]Second Order Representation
See representation, second order.Selective Amnesia
(Or hysterical amnesia.) A psychogenic amnesia directed at a particular experience or set of experiences, which are sufficiently ego-threatening (shock, fear, etc) to warrant being kept from consciousness by repression or other psychodynamic mechanism.Semantic Anomia
One of the nine clinically distinct subtypes of anomia (1) recognised by Benson (1979).Semantic Cueing
A type of cueing. Involves giving clues as to the meaning and/or use of the target word in the hope that this will help the patient access the lost speech output patterns (e.g. `You cook with it .....`). Frequently very successful. [Compare first letter cueing, phonemic cueing, and silent articulatory cueing.]Semantic Jargon
One of three clinically distinct subtypes of jargon aphasia. Jargon characterised by the frequent use of synonyms and near synonyms. [Compare neologistic jargon and phonemic jargon.]Semantic Lexicon
The semantic element of the lexicon (1). A web of concept associations and categories capable of giving meaning to an individual concept. The semantic lexicon, together with the associated word-form lexicons (2), constitute the mind's mental word store in its entirety. There is a mass of evidence, however, that they are not co-located in the brain, and when a word form cannot be associated with its semantic referent what we end up with, of course, is an anomia (1). [There is an expanded definition of this term in our psycholinguistics glossary.]Semantic Paralexia
A paralexia where the mis-selection is due to some type of semantic confusion, that is to say, where the actual utterance bears some conceptual relationship to the intended utterance (e.g.`bread` for `food`). A frequent clinical indicator of deep dyslexia. For a fuller list of typical errors of this type, see Coltheart, Patterson, and Marshall (1980).Semantic Paraphasia
A paraphasia where the mis-selection is due to some type of semantic confusion, that is to say, where the actual utterance bears some conceptual relationship to the intended utterance (e.g.`bread` for `food`). [Compare phonemic paraphasia.]Senile Dementia
[See firstly dementia.] A general descriptor for forgetfulness and similar symptoms in the aged, rather than a disease process in its own right. May, upon further investigation, turn out to be Alzheimer's disease or multiple-infarct dementia, or just normal wear and tear. Sign
An outwardly visible correlate of a disease or injury. [Compare symptom.]Silent Articulatory Cueing
A type of cueing. Involves silently miming the tongue and lip movements of the target word, perhaps with an element of exaggeration, in the hope that this will help the patient access the lost speech output patterns (e.g. `Watch my lips .....`). [Compare first letter cueing, phonemic cueing and semantic cueing.]
Small Vessel Disease
Blockage, deterioration, and leaking of blood vessels too small to be operated on. If within the brain, then a serious form of cerebro-vascular disease. [More]
One of the six clinically distinct subtypes of dysarthria recognised by Darley, Aronson, and Brown (1975). [There is a longer discussion of the subtypes of dysarthria in Section 6.8 of our e-paper on `Speech Errors, Speech Production Models, and Speech Pathology`.]
State of rigidity and spasm of the skeletal muscles. Occurs as a result of damage to the pathways inhibiting muscular contraction. [Compare paresis.]
Literally, improvements which `just happen`. The term is used typically to describe the often quite considerable improvements in CVA patients in the weeks-to-months following the insult. These occur without therapy, and are usually attributed to two major factors. Firstly, there are naturally occurring organic repair processes (such as swellings going down, etc.), and secondly there may be some `recruitment` of undamaged neural tissue to take over the functions of that which has been lost. The effectiveness of therapy during a period of spontaneous recovery is, not surprisingly, difficult to assess.
Knowing and being able to recognise the solid form of objects by tactile inspection. This ability is heavily lateralised so that the right hand loses this ability with a left-hemisphere lesion (and vice versa).
The everyday term for cerebro-vascular accident or transient ischaemic attack.
A subtype of acquired dyslexia characterised primarily by difficulties at the `whole word` visual word recognition stage, when reading aloud [compare deep dyslexia]. Typical problems are (a) `regularisation` of irregular words (e.g. pronouncing `come` to rhyme with `home`), and (b) `visual frequency effects` (e.g. reading `region` for `reign`).
An outwardly invisible correlate of a disease or injury, and one therefore which can only be detected by listening to the subjective report of the patient. [Compare sign.]
A symptom complex, that is to say, a collection of signs and symptoms which for some reason seem to `go together`, and which characterise a particular disorder.
With agrammatism, patients often omit the function words [glossary] while retaining the content words [glossary]. Properly controlled, this enforced brevity can markedly reduce word count without reducing intelligibility, hence the metaphoric link with the style we adopt when sending telegrams. A frequent sign of Broca's aphasia.
A fluent aphasia characterised by severe jargon. Believed by workers such as Crosson (1985) to be due to impaired ability of the thalamus to organise internal and external speech output monitoring.
See traumatic head injury.
The state of having a clot or blockage (the thrombus) attached to, and restricting flow through, a blood vessel.
See transient ischaemic attack.
A tic disorder named after the French neurologist Gilles de la Tourette (1857-1904) [more history], and characterised by involuntary motor spasms and vocalisations, either verbal or non-verbal [more].
See the detailed definition in our psycholinguistics glossary.
Transcortical Motor Aphasia
A non-fluent aphasia similar to Broca's aphasia. Repetition is relatively unimpaired, but there is little spontaneous speech, more severe dyspraxia, and frequent echolalia. [See also Lichtheim's house.]
Transcortical Sensory Aphasia
Similar to Wernicke's aphasia, but with unimpaired word repetition. [See also Lichtheim's house.]
Transient Epileptic Amnesia
A short-term amnesia relating to the moments of an epileptic seizure.
Transient Global Amnesia
A short-term amnesic state (1 - 24 hours), possibly due to transient ischaemia.
Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA)
Short period of ischaemia, followed by more or less complete recovery within 24 hours [compare cerebro-vascular accident].
(1) [Greek = wound.] Alternative term for physical injury, as in traumatic head injury. [Contrast trauma (2).] (2) [Greek = wound.] Alternative term for mental injury, as in cases of selective amnesias brought about by psychologically shocking or hurtful experiences such as combat where there is no direct physical injury. One of Freud's main contributions to our understanding of the unconscious mind was his insistence that we seek out the traumas we had somehow locked away within ourselves.
Traumatic Head Injury (THI)
Any impact-related head injury. [See and compare closed head injury and penetrating head injury.]