Applied Psycholinguistics


Perception of lexical stress by brain-damaged individuals: Effects on lexical–semantic activation

AMEE P. SHAH a1c1 and SHARI R. BAUM a1
a1 School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, McGill University, Montreal


A semantic priming, lexical-decision study was conducted to examine the ability of left- and right-brain damaged individuals to perceive lexical-stress cues and map them onto lexical–semantic representations. Correctly and incorrectly stressed primes were paired with related and unrelated target words to tap implicit processing of lexical prosody. Results conformed with previous studies involving implicit perception of lexical stress, in that the left-hemisphere damaged individuals showed preserved sensitivity to lexical stress patterns as indicated by priming patterns mirroring those of the normal controls. An increased sensitivity to the varying stress patterns of the primes was demonstrated by the right-hemisphere damaged patient group, however. Results are discussed in relation to current theories of prosodic lateralization, with a particular focus on the nature of task demands in lexical stress perception studies.

(Received December 21 2004)
(Accepted May 6 2005)

c1 Amee P. Shah, Department of Speech and Hearing, Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Avenue, MC 430, Cleveland, OH 44115-2214. E-mail: