Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis




Experimental Psychology

First Advisor

Gordon C. Baylis


This study used a combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a healthy undergraduate and graduate student population and voxel-based symptom mapping (VBSM) in a population of individuals who had sustained damage to their left hemisphere as a result of ischemic stroke in order to investigate the neural correlates of spatial language, which can be thought of as language used to communicate the spatial relationship of one object to another. In a first experiment, participants completed a task during which they listened to auditory sentences about object relationships that were either spatial or nonspatial (color or size relationship) and responded to whether or not a visual stimulus matched the preceding auditory sentence. fMRI results revealed that a specific region in bilateral parietal cortex, the precuneus, was significantly active during spatial language processing. In a second experiment, there was a significant difference in the stroke population, with patients being more likely to perform better on the spatial condition of the task (precuneus was spared in all patients). VBSM was used to assess whether performance on the spatial language task could predict lesion location, but did not have the power to demonstrate a significant effect.


© 2010, Julie A. Conder