Auditory and visual verbal short-term memory in aphasia

G. Vallar, M. Corno, A. Basso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phonological short-term memory was investigated in 24 aphasic left brain-damaged patients and in 12 matched controls. Aphasic patients have a reduced auditory and visual immediate memory span and show the standard detrimental effect of phonological similarity on immediate retention only when the stimuli are auditorily presented, while in the control group the effect is present with both auditory and visual input. Most patients have phonological processing deficits, but two patients have an impaired immediate verbal memory in the absence of analysis disorders. These results, in line with most individual case studies of patients with selective deficits of verbal short-term memory, are interpreted with reference to a model distinguishing a phonological short-term store component of memory, to which auditory input has direct and automatic access, and a rehearsal component, that, after phonological recoding, conveys visually presented stimuli to the phonological store. This latter system, that appears to become fully operational later in development, is less resistive to brain damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-389
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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