Social cognition of indirect speech: Evidence from Parkinson's disease

Patrick McNamara, Thomas Holtgraves, Raymon Durso, Erica Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We examined potential neurocognitive mechanisms of indirect speech in support of face management in 28 patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and 32 elderly controls with chronic disease. In Experiment 1, we demonstrated automatic activation of indirect meanings of particularized implicatures in controls but not in PD patients. Failure to automatically engage comprehension of indirect meanings of indirect speech acts in PD patients was correlated with a measure of prefrontal dysfunction. In Experiment 2, we showed that while PD patients and controls offered similar interpretations of indirect speech acts, PD participants were overly confident in their interpretations and unaware of errors of interpretation. Efficient reputational adjustment mechanisms apparently require intact striatal-prefrontal networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-171
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurolinguistics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by a grant from NIDCD Grant no. 5R01DC007956-03 and is based upon work supported, in part, by the Office of Research and Development, Medical Research Service, Department of Veterans Affairs .


  • Evolution of cooperation
  • Face-saving
  • Indirect speech
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Politeness conventions
  • Reputation


Dive into the research topics of 'Social cognition of indirect speech: Evidence from Parkinson's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this