Dissociated repetition deficits in aphasia can reflect flexible interactions between left dorsal and ventral streams and gender-dimorphic architecture of the right dorsal stream


Assessment of brain-damaged subjects presenting with dissociated repetition deficits after selective injury to either the left dorsal or ventral auditory pathways can provide further insight on their respective roles in verbal repetition. We evaluated repetition performance and its neural correlates using multimodal imaging (anatomical MRI, DTI, fMRI and 18FDG-PET) in a female patient with transcortical motor aphasia (TCMA) and in a male patient with conduction aphasia (CA) who had small contiguous but non-overlapping left perisylvian infarctions. Repetition in the TCMA patient was fully preserved except for a mild impairment in nonwords and digits, whereas the CA patient had impaired repetition of nonwords, digits and word triplet lists. Sentence repetition was impaired, but he repeated novel sentences significantly better than clichés. The TCMA patient had tissue damage and reduced metabolism in the left sensorimotor cortex and insula. DTI showed damage to the left temporo-frontal and parieto-frontal segments of the arcuate fasciculus (AF) and part of the left ventral stream together with well-developed right dorsal and ventral streams, as has been reported in more than one-third of females. The CA patient had tissue damage and reduced metabolic activity in the left temporoparietal cortex with additional metabolic decrements in the left frontal lobe. DTI showed damage to the left temporo-parietal and temporo-frontal segments of the AF, but the ventral stream was spared. The direct segment of the AF in the right hemisphere was also absent with only vestigial remains of the other dorsal subcomponents present, as is often found in males. fMRI during word and nonword repetition revealed bilateral perisylvian activation in the TCMA patient suggesting recruitment of spared segments of the left dorsal stream and right dorsal stream with propagation of signals to temporal lobe structures suggesting a compensatory reallocation of resources via the ventral streams. The CA p

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience