A neuropsychological perspective of aprosody: features, function, assessment, and treatment

Appl Neuropsychol. 2002;9(1):37-47. doi: 10.1207/S15324826AN0901_5.


Aprosodia, the inability to either produce or comprehend the affective components of speech or gesture, is a common occurrence after brain injury. The prosodic components of speech assist in inferring the attitude and emotion of the speaker and are vital in everyday communication. A review of the literature suggests that the left hemisphere is responsible for modulating the linguistic components of prosody (e.g., timing), whereas the right hemisphere is predominantly responsible for modulating the affective components of prosody (e.g., spectral information or pitch). Disorders of affective aprosodia have been classified along the same dimensions as the aphasias. Bedside evaluation and neuroimaging have been used to identify and classify types of aprosodia. The treatment goals for aphasia may be adapted and applied to aprosodia. Additionally, pharmacotherapy and biofeedback have been found useful in the treatment of aprosodia and associated features.

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Biofeedback, Psychology
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Communication
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Speech Disorders / diagnosis
  • Speech Disorders / etiology*
  • Speech Disorders / therapy
  • Speech Therapy