Topic Scenes in Conversations With Adults With Right-Hemisphere Brain Damage Eight adults with right hemisphere damage (RHD) and seven non-brain-damaged (NBD) matched controls participated in first-encounter conversations. The incidence and nature of topic scenes, as well as their location in the conversation, were investigated based on the notion that topic scenes are organized into “memory organization packets” (MOPs). A conversation ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2000
Topic Scenes in Conversations With Adults With Right-Hemisphere Brain Damage
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mary R. T. Kennedy
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Contact author: Mary R. T. Kennedy, PhD, Department of Communication Disorders, University of Minnesota, 115 Shevlin Hall, 164 Pillsbury Drive S.E., Minneapolis, MN, 55455.
    Contact author: Mary R. T. Kennedy, PhD, Department of Communication Disorders, University of Minnesota, 115 Shevlin Hall, 164 Pillsbury Drive S.E., Minneapolis, MN, 55455.×
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: kenne047@tc.umn.edu
Article Information
Special Populations / Normal Language Processing / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Traumatic Brain Injury / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2000
Topic Scenes in Conversations With Adults With Right-Hemisphere Brain Damage
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2000, Vol. 9, 72-86. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0901.72
History: Received August 24, 1999 , Accepted December 30, 1999
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2000, Vol. 9, 72-86. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0901.72
History: Received August 24, 1999; Accepted December 30, 1999

Eight adults with right hemisphere damage (RHD) and seven non-brain-damaged (NBD) matched controls participated in first-encounter conversations. The incidence and nature of topic scenes, as well as their location in the conversation, were investigated based on the notion that topic scenes are organized into “memory organization packets” (MOPs). A conversation MOP is a mental superstructure that provides organization for topics that are discussed in order to achieve the goal of the conversation. No significant group differences in the overall proportion of topic scenes contributed were found, and all participants produced more topic scenes in the maintenance phase than in the initiation or termination phase. Participants with RHD produced larger proportions of topic scenes during the termination phase than NBD participants. The majority of topic scenes discussed by participants with RHD and all the topic scenes discussed by NBD participants and partners belonged to the first-encounter conversation MOP. However, some participants with RHD generated topic scenes that differed in nature and location from the first-encounter conversation MOP, whereas NBD adults did not generate topic scenes that differed. These results are discussed in relation to differences in the relationships between the RHD participant/partner dyad and the NBD participant/partner dyad, research findings that some adults with RHD produce statements that are out-of-context, and research findings that suggest that adults with RHD may have difficulty suppressing secondary information during discourse comprehension tasks.

Author Note
The author would like to thank students Suzanne Patterson and I-Chant Chiang for their assistance in the preparation of this manuscript. A very special thanks is extended to Robert H. Brookshire, PhD, for his thoughtful comments and encouragement to continue work on quantifying conversational discourse. A portion of this study was presented at the Clinical Aphasiology Conference, 1998, Asheville, NC.
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