Nominal aphasia

From Academic Kids

Nominal aphasia (also known as anomic aphasia) is a form of aphasia (loss of language capability caused by brain damage) in which the subject has difficulty remembering or recognizing names which the subject should know well. The subject speaks fluently and grammatically and has normal comprehension, and the only deficit is trouble finding appropriate words.

Subjects often use circumlocutions (speaking in a roundabout way) in order to express a certain word they cannot find the name for. Sometimes the subject can recall the name when given clues. Sufferers are often frustrated when they know they know the name, but cannot produce it.

"Hold on, I should know the name of that thing... Give me a minute ..."

Sometimes subjects may know what to do with an object, but still not be able to give a name to the object. For example, show a subject an orange, and ask what it's called. The same subject may be well aware that the object can be peeled and eaten, and may be able to demonstrate this by actions or even verbal responses.

Anomia is caused by damage to various parts of the parietal lobe or the temporal lobe of the brain. This type of phenomenon can be quite complex, and usually involves a breakdown in one or more pathways between regions in the brain. The responses may also differ depending on whether objects are shown in the right or left hand side of the visual field.

Averbia is a specific type of anomia in which the subject has trouble remembering only verbs. This is caused by damage to the frontal cortex, in or near Broca's area.

See also

Broca, Wernicke, Broca's aphasia, Wernicke's aphasia

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