The Neurology of Proverbs

Diana Van Lancker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although proverb tests are commonly used in the mental status examination surprisingly little is known about either normal comprehension or the interpretation of proverbial expressions. Current proverbs tests have conceptual and linguistic shortcomings, and few studies have been done to investigate the specific effects of neurological and psychiatric disorders on the interpretation of proverbs. Although frontal lobes have traditionally been impugned in patients who are “concrete,” recent studies targeting deficient comprehension of nonliteral language (e.g. proverbs, idioms, speech formulas, and indirect requests) point to an important role of the right hemisphere (RH). Research describing responses of psychiatrically and neurologically classified groups to tests of proverb and idiom usage is needed to clarify details of aberrant processing of nonliteral meanings. Meanwhile, the proverb test, drawing on diverse cognitive skills, is a nonspecific but sensitive probe of mental status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-187
Number of pages19
JournalBehavioural Neurology
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1990

Fingerprint

Aphorisms and Proverbs
Neurology
Frontal Lobe
Linguistics
Nervous System Diseases
Psychiatry
Language
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

Cite this

The Neurology of Proverbs. / Van Lancker, Diana.

In: Behavioural Neurology, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1990, p. 169-187.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Van Lancker, Diana. / The Neurology of Proverbs. In: Behavioural Neurology. 1990 ; Vol. 3, No. 3. pp. 169-187.
@article{87bd0d9a5eb44dbca9e555a7d2134dbf,
title = "The Neurology of Proverbs",
abstract = "Although proverb tests are commonly used in the mental status examination surprisingly little is known about either normal comprehension or the interpretation of proverbial expressions. Current proverbs tests have conceptual and linguistic shortcomings, and few studies have been done to investigate the specific effects of neurological and psychiatric disorders on the interpretation of proverbs. Although frontal lobes have traditionally been impugned in patients who are “concrete,” recent studies targeting deficient comprehension of nonliteral language (e.g. proverbs, idioms, speech formulas, and indirect requests) point to an important role of the right hemisphere (RH). Research describing responses of psychiatrically and neurologically classified groups to tests of proverb and idiom usage is needed to clarify details of aberrant processing of nonliteral meanings. Meanwhile, the proverb test, drawing on diverse cognitive skills, is a nonspecific but sensitive probe of mental status.",
author = "{Van Lancker}, Diana",
year = "1990",
doi = "10.3233/BEN-1990-3304",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "3",
pages = "169--187",
journal = "Behavioural Neurology",
issn = "0953-4180",
publisher = "IOS Press",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Neurology of Proverbs

AU - Van Lancker, Diana

PY - 1990

Y1 - 1990

N2 - Although proverb tests are commonly used in the mental status examination surprisingly little is known about either normal comprehension or the interpretation of proverbial expressions. Current proverbs tests have conceptual and linguistic shortcomings, and few studies have been done to investigate the specific effects of neurological and psychiatric disorders on the interpretation of proverbs. Although frontal lobes have traditionally been impugned in patients who are “concrete,” recent studies targeting deficient comprehension of nonliteral language (e.g. proverbs, idioms, speech formulas, and indirect requests) point to an important role of the right hemisphere (RH). Research describing responses of psychiatrically and neurologically classified groups to tests of proverb and idiom usage is needed to clarify details of aberrant processing of nonliteral meanings. Meanwhile, the proverb test, drawing on diverse cognitive skills, is a nonspecific but sensitive probe of mental status.

AB - Although proverb tests are commonly used in the mental status examination surprisingly little is known about either normal comprehension or the interpretation of proverbial expressions. Current proverbs tests have conceptual and linguistic shortcomings, and few studies have been done to investigate the specific effects of neurological and psychiatric disorders on the interpretation of proverbs. Although frontal lobes have traditionally been impugned in patients who are “concrete,” recent studies targeting deficient comprehension of nonliteral language (e.g. proverbs, idioms, speech formulas, and indirect requests) point to an important role of the right hemisphere (RH). Research describing responses of psychiatrically and neurologically classified groups to tests of proverb and idiom usage is needed to clarify details of aberrant processing of nonliteral meanings. Meanwhile, the proverb test, drawing on diverse cognitive skills, is a nonspecific but sensitive probe of mental status.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0001100745&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0001100745&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3233/BEN-1990-3304

DO - 10.3233/BEN-1990-3304

M3 - Article

VL - 3

SP - 169

EP - 187

JO - Behavioural Neurology

JF - Behavioural Neurology

SN - 0953-4180

IS - 3

ER -