Acoustic Measures of Prosody in Right-Hemisphere Damage: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Purpose The aim of the study was to use systematic review and meta-analysis to quantitatively assess the currently available acoustic evidence for prosodic production impairments as a result of right-hemisphere damage (RHD), as well as to develop methodological recommendations for future studies. Method We systematically reviewed papers reporting acoustic features of prosodic production in RHD in order to identify shortcomings in the literature and make recommendations for future studies. We estimated the meta-analytic effect size of the acoustic features. We extracted standardized mean differences from 16 papers and estimated aggregated effect sizes using hierarchical Bayesian regression models. Results RHD did present reduced fundamental frequency variation, but the trait was shared with left-hemisphere damage. RHD also presented evidence for increased pause duration. No meta-analytic evidence for an effect of prosody type (emotional vs. linguistic) was found. Conclusions Taken together, the currently available acoustic data show only a weak specific effect of RHD on prosody production. However, the results are not definitive, as more reliable analyses are hindered by small sample sizes, lack of detail on lesion location, and divergent measuring techniques. We propose recommendations to overcome these issues: Cumulative science practices (e.g., open data and code sharing), more nuanced speech signal processing techniques, and the integration of acoustic measures and perceptual judgments are recommended to more effectively investigate prosody in RHD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Pages (from-to)1762-1775
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


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