Impairments in proverb interpretation following focal frontal lobe lesions

Murphy, Patrick, Shallice, Tim, Robinson, Gail, MacPherson, Sarah E., Turner, Martha, Woollett, Katherine, Bozzali, Marco and Cipolotti, Lisa (2013) Impairments in proverb interpretation following focal frontal lobe lesions. Neuropsychologia, 51 11: 2075-2086. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.06.029

Author Murphy, Patrick
Shallice, Tim
Robinson, Gail
MacPherson, Sarah E.
Turner, Martha
Woollett, Katherine
Bozzali, Marco
Cipolotti, Lisa
Title Impairments in proverb interpretation following focal frontal lobe lesions
Journal name Neuropsychologia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0028-3932
Publication date 2013-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.06.029
Volume 51
Issue 11
Start page 2075
End page 2086
Total pages 12
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Formatted abstract
• Frontal lobe patients and controls were compared on a proverb interpretation task.
• Medial frontal lobe lesions are associated with deficits in proverb interpretation.
• Increased concrete responses in left lateral frontal patients.
• Impairments in proverb interpretation are not associated with fluid intelligence.

The proverb interpretation task (PIT) is often used in clinical settings to evaluate frontal “executive” dysfunction. However, only a relatively small number of studies have investigated the relationship between frontal lobe lesions and performance on the PIT. We compared 52 patients with unselected focal frontal lobe lesions with 52 closely matched healthy controls on a proverb interpretation task. Participants also completed a battery of neuropsychological tests, including a fluid intelligence task (Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices). Lesions were firstly analysed according to a standard left/right sub-division. Secondly, a finer-grained analysis compared the performance of patients with medial, left lateral and right lateral lesions with healthy controls. Thirdly, a contrast of specific frontal subgroups compared the performance of patients with medial lesions with patients with lateral frontal lesions. The results showed that patients with left frontal lesions were significantly impaired on the PIT, while in patients with right frontal lesions the impairments approached significance. Medial frontal patients were the only frontal subgroup impaired on the PIT, relative to healthy controls and lateral frontal patients. Interestingly, an error analysis indicated that a significantly higher number of concrete responses were found in the left lateral subgroup compared to healthy controls. We found no correlation between scores on the PIT and on the fluid intelligence task. Overall our results suggest that specific regions of the frontal lobes contribute to the performance on the PIT.
Keyword PFC
Executive function
Fluid intelligence
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 15 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 29 Oct 2013, 02:24:09 EST by Gail Robinson on behalf of School of Psychology