Adaptation theory is a theory explaining the manifestations of aphasia, a linguistic disorder caused by brain damage. The theory considers the overt symptoms of aphasia in speech either as displaying a behavioral adaptation to the disorder of linguistic function or as directly expressing the linguistic impairment. It contrasts with the views that understand the symptoms of aphasia only as direct manifestations of disturbed language functions caused by specific focal lesions in the brain. However, in accordance with the notions of John Hughlings Jackson in the late 19th century, aphasic symptoms can represent either the underlying impairment or a compensation for that impairment.

Adaptation theory was developed by Claus Heeschen and Herman Kolk in the early 1990s. Studying agrammatism (the inability to construct a grammatical sentence) in ...

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