Sentence comprehension following moderate closed head injury in adults

Mark Leikin, Raphiq Ibrahim, Judith Aharon-Peretz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study explores sentence comprehension impairments among adults following moderate closed head injury. It was hypothesized that if the factor of syntactic complexity significantly affects sentence comprehension in these patients, it would testify to the existence of syntactic processing deficit along with working-memory problems. Thirty-six adults (18 closed head injury patients and 18 healthy controls matched in age, gender, and IQ) participated in the study. A picturesentence matching task together with various tests for memory, language, and reading abilities were used to explore whether sentence comprehension impairments exist as a result of a deficit in syntactic processing or of working-memory dysfunction. Results indicate significant impairment in sentence comprehension among adults with closed head injury compared with their nonhead-injured peers. Results also reveal that closed head injury patients demonstrate considerable decline in working memory, short-term memory, and semantic knowledge. Analysis of the results shows that memory impairment and syntactic complexity contribute significantly to sentence comprehension difficulties in closed head injury patients. At the same time, the presentation mode (spoken or written language) was found to have no effect on comprehension among adults with closed head injury, and their reading abilities appear to be relatively intact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-242
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Integrative Neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Hebrew
  • closed head injury
  • sentence comprehension
  • syntactic processing
  • working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)


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