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The Enigma of Thalamic Aphasia: What Does the Thalamus Do in Language?

Weekly Seminar | Not Open to the Public
Who Should Attend: 


Bruce Crosson, Ph.D.
Associate Executive Director
Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation
VA Senior Research Career Scientist
VA Rehabilitation Research and Development
Department of Neurology
Emory School of Medicine


For five or six decades we have known that small dominant thalamic hemorrhages or infarcts cause aphasia and that stimulation of the dominant pulvinar or ventral anterior nucleus interrupts naming. Acutely, dominant thalamic lesion tends to cause (1) fluent output with frequent paraphasias, primarily semantic in nature and sometimes deteriorating into jargon, (2) unimpaired or minimally impaired repetition, and (3) auditory-verbal comprehension less impaired than this kind of output usually would indicate, especially in posterior thalamic hemorrhagic lesions. Within three to six months, recovery of language functions is usually good, though incomplete. After presenting cases of thalamic aphasia, mechanisms that may account for this pattern of symptoms and recovery will be discussed, and the importance of understanding the role of the thalamus in language will be addressed. 

Crosson's figure


Bohsali, A. A., Triplett, W., Sudhyadhom, A., Gullett, J., McGregor, K., FitzGerald, D.B., Mareci, T., White, K., Crosson, B.
Broca’s area-thalamic connectivity. Brain and Language
Brain Lang. 2015 Feb;141:80-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2014.12.001. Epub 2014 Dec 30.
Crosson, B.
Thalamic mechanisms in language: A reconsideration based on recent findings and concepts.
Brain Lang. 2013 Jul;126(1):73-88. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2012.06.011. Epub 2012 Jul 23.
Moore, A. B., Li, Z., Tyner, C. E., Hu, X., Crosson, B.
Bilateral basal ganglia activity in verbal working memory.
Brain Lang. 2013 Jun;125(3):316-23. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2012.05.003. Epub 2012 Jul 31.


Tuesday, March 5, 2019 - 12:30pm


Burke Neurological Institute
785 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
United States
Conference Room: 
Billings Building – Rosedale

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