Understanding metaphors and idioms: A single-case neuropsychological study in a person with Down syndrome

Costanza Papagno, Giuseppe Vallar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The ability of subject F.F., diagnosed with Down syndrome, to appreciate nonliteral (interpreting metaphors and idioms) and literal (vocabulary knowledge, including highly specific and unusual items) aspects of language was investigated. F.F. was impaired in understanding both metaphors and idioms, while her phonological, syntactic and lexical-semantic skills were largely preserved. By contrast, some aspects of F.F.'s executive functions and many visuospatial abilities were defective. The suggestion is made that the interpretation of metaphors and idioms is largely independent of that of literal language, preserved in F.F., and that some executive aspects of working memory and visuospatial and imagery processes may play a role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-527
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Fingerprint

Metaphor
Down Syndrome
Aptitude
Language
Vocabulary
Imagery (Psychotherapy)
Executive Function
Short-Term Memory
Semantics

Keywords

  • Down syndrome
  • Idioms
  • Metaphor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

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