The effects of right and left hemiparkinsonism on prosody

Lee Xenakis Blonder, Raquel E. Gur, Ruben C. Gur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


Recent studies show right hemisphere dominance in the mediation of emotional prosody and left hemisphere contribution to linguistic prosody in patients with cortical injury. The present study investigated emotional and linguistic functions of prosody as well as facial and musical processing in 21 patients with lateralized subcortical disease. Fourteen right hemiparkinsonians (RPD) and 7 left hemiparkinsonians (LPD) were compared to 17 normal controls (NC). Patients were impaired on receptive and expressive tests of emotional and linguistic prosody. Patients were also selectively impaired on emotional processing of facial stimuli and in the musical processing of pitch and tonal memory, though not timber. These findings suggest that monotone speech reported in PD is of multimodal origins and may involve dysfunction in neural centers involved in emotional and linguistic processing. There were no differences between RPD and LPD groups in the pattern of deficits, suggesting bilateral involvement in emotional processing at the subcortical level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-207
Number of pages15
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1989

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was performed as a part of a dissertation by the first author in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. The work was supported by Grants MH 30456, MH 00586, AG 41915, and AG 05583. We thank Howard Hurtig, Gwyn Vernon, Beth Rosenwasser, and the Graduate Hospital Movement Disorder Center staff; John Fought, Francis Johnston, and Solomon Katz of the Department of Anthropology at Penn, and Edward Foulkes, Department of Psychiatry at Tulane, for their guidance; Susan Resnick and Brett Skolnick of the Brain and Behavior Laboratory at Penn for assistance with data analysis; Steven Kanes and Robert Kass who were Research Assistants; and the individuals who participated in the study. L. X. Blonder is now at the Department of Neurology, University of Florida, JHMHC, Box J-236, Gainesville, FL 32610. Address reprint requests to Dr. R. E. Gur. Brain and Behavior Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry. 205 Piersol Building, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing


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