Pragmatic abilities in multiple sclerosis: The contribution of the temporo-parietal junction

Antonio Carotenuto, Sirio Cocozza, Mario Quarantelli, Giorgio Arcara, Roberta Lanzillo, Vincenzo Brescia Morra, Ilaria Cerillo, Enrico Tedeschi, Giuseppe Orefice, Valentina Bambini, Arturo Brunetti, Rosa Iodice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Recent studies showed that multiple sclerosis (MS) patients might experience communicative deficits, specifically in pragmatics (i.e., the ability to integrate the context-dependent aspects of language). A crucial region for pragmatics is the temporo-parietal junction, in particular the so-called Geschwind's area (GA), which is involved in high-level language processes, including the comprehension of narratives, metaphor, and irony. We evaluated the relationship between pragmatic abilities, measured through the Assessment of Pragmatic Abilities and Cognitive Substrates (APACS) test, and the functional connectivity (FC) of the bilateral GAs, assessed through a seed-based analysis of Resting-State fMRI in patients with MS. A positive correlation was observed between APACS scores and the FC for both the right and the left GA and the paracingulate cortex. Our findings suggest that the brain FC for social communication involves connections extending over both hemispheres, including right and left GAs and right and left paracingulate cortex, possibly impaired in patients with MS. This study offers preliminary evidence for future researches enrolling also a control sample to explore the involvement of GA in pragmatics in neurological disorders as well as in healthy conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalBrain and Language
Volume185
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2018

Keywords

  • Functional connectivity
  • Geschwind's area
  • Language
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuropragmatics
  • Pragmatics
  • Social cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing

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  • Cite this

    Carotenuto, A., Cocozza, S., Quarantelli, M., Arcara, G., Lanzillo, R., Brescia Morra, V., Cerillo, I., Tedeschi, E., Orefice, G., Bambini, V., Brunetti, A., & Iodice, R. (2018). Pragmatic abilities in multiple sclerosis: The contribution of the temporo-parietal junction. Brain and Language, 185, 47-53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2018.08.003