Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

PURPOSE: We aimed at further elucidating whether aphasic patients' difficulties in understanding non-canonical sentence structures, such as Passive or Object-Verb-Subject sentences, can be attributed to impaired morphosyntactic cue recognition, and to problems in integrating competing interpretations. METHODS: A sentence-picture matching task with canonical and non-canonical spoken sentences was performed using concurrent eye tracking. Accuracy, reaction time, and eye tracking data (fixations) of 50 healthy subjects and 12 aphasic patients were analysed. RESULTS: Patients showed increased error rates and reaction times, as well as delayed fixation preferences for target pictures in non-canonical sentences. Patients' fixation patterns differed from healthy controls and revealed deficits in recognizing and immediately integrating morphosyntactic cues. CONCLUSION: Our study corroborates the notion that difficulties in understanding syntactically complex sentences are attributable to a processing deficit encompassing delayed and therefore impaired recognition and integration of cues, as well as increased competition between interpretations.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aphasia, Brain, Comprehension, Eye Movements, Female, Humans, Language, Language Tests, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Reaction Time, Semantics, Speech Perception