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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages 81-91

Verbal Short-Term Memory and Motor Speech Processes in Broca’s Aphasia

C. Goerlich,1 I. Daum,1 I. Hertrich,2 and H. Ackermann2,3

1Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Tübingen, Germany
2Department of Neurology, University of Tübingen, Germany
3Department of Neurology, University of Tübingen, HoppeSeyler-Str. 3, 72076 Tübingen, Germany

Received 9 March 1995; Accepted 17 July 1995

Copyright © 1995 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present study investigated the relationship between verbal short-term memory and motor speech processes in healthy control subjects and five patients suffering from Broca's aphasia. Control subjects showed a phonological similarity effect, a word length effect and an articulatory suppression effect, supporting the hypothesis of a phonological store and an articulatory loop component of short-term memory. A similar effect of phonological similarity was observed in the aphasic patients, while the effects of word length and articulatory suppression were reduced. In control subjects, measures of short-term memory were correlated to measures of motor speech rate only if speech rate was assessed in more complex conditions (such as sentence rather than syllable repetition). There was also evidence of an association of speech impairment and short-term memory deficits in the aphasic patients.