Cognitive correlates of narrative impairment in moderate traumatic brain injury

Andrea Marini, Marina Zettin, Valentina Galetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are often associated with communicative deficits. The incoherent and impoverished language observed in non-aphasic individuals with severe TBI has been linked to a problem in the global organization of information at the text level. The present study aimed to analyze the features of narrative discourse impairment in a group of adults with moderate TBI (modTBI). 10 non-aphasic speakers with modTBI and 20 neurologically intact participants were recruited for the experiment. Their cognitive, linguistic and narrative skills were thoroughly assessed. The persons with modTBI exhibited normal phonological, lexical and grammatical skills. However, their narratives were characterized by lower levels of Lexical Informativeness and more errors of both Local and Global Coherence that, at times, made their narratives vague and ambiguous. Significant correlations were found between these narrative difficulties and the production of both perseverative and non-perseverative errors on the WCST. These disturbances confirm previous findings which suggest a deficit at the interface between cognitive and linguistic processing rather than a specific linguistic disturbance in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-288
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Language
  • Moderate traumatic brain injury
  • Narrative analysis
  • Neurolinguistics
  • Neuropsychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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