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Cognitive Impairment

Fundamental to communication is cognition, the set of abilities that allows individuals to process, filter, store, retrieve, and interpret incoming information. Accordingly, cognition encompasses perception, attention, memory, executive functioning, and language abilities. These cognitive ability domains are interrelated and share a number of characteristics, such as being multidimensional in nature (e.g., there several types of attention functions) and being supported by overlapping or closely related neural circuitry. Because of these functional and structural connections, isolated impairments affecting just one cognitive function in one modality (e.g., auditory sustained attention deficit only) are rare; instead, individuals most commonly present with a number of cognitive impairments in concert with communication difficulties.

Indeed, any communication disorder that occurs due to developmental or acquired brain damage is likely to co-occur with ...

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