Chapter

Manual sign language

Doreen Kimura

in Neuromotor Mechanisms in Human Communication

Published in print December 1993 | ISBN: 9780195054927
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199872268 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195054927.003.0008

Series: Oxford Psychology Series

 Manual sign language

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This chapter examines manual sign language disorders following pathology to the brain. Disorders in manual sign language occur following pathology to the left hemisphere in right-handers. These disorders show characteristics similar to those of manual apraxia — bilaterality of the disorder, the generation of amorphous movements, perseveration, the substitution of one movement within a category for another, and so forth. Despite the highly visual nature of signing, comprehension of signs is affected by left cerebral damage rather than by right cerebral damage. This is true even when right-hemisphere pathology results in gross left-sided neglect of space, suggesting that the processing of such movements is not achieved by the same systems representing external space. Within the limits of current knowledge, the neuroanatomic areas affected in manual signing disorders appear to be the same as those affected in manual apraxia.

Keywords: manual sign language disorders; manual apraxia; left hemisphere; brain; external space

Chapter.  5130 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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