10 Types of aphasia: characteristics and examples

  • Sep 15, 2021
Types of aphasia: characteristics and examples

Do you know what aphasia is? Aphasia is a language disorder that occurs as a result of a brain injury. It is a disorder that can affect reading, writing, expression or comprehension. In short, it is a disease that prevents you from communicating. Aphasia usually occurs suddenly after a stroke or head injury. In this Psychology-Online article, we will see the 10 different types of aphasia, their characteristics and examples.

If you are interested in knowing what the types of aphasia are, why they occur and what is their treatment, continue reading.

You may also like: Therapeutic intervention in aphasia secondary to stroke


  1. Expression aphasia
  2. Reception aphasia
  3. Conduction aphasia
  4. Transcortical sensory aphasia
  5. Transcortical motor aphasia
  6. Global aphasia
  7. Mixed aphasia
  8. Anomic aphasia
  9. Primary progressive aphasia
  10. Non-fluent progressive aphasia

Aphasia of expression.

Expression aphasia is commonly referred to as Broca's aphasia or as motor aphasia. In that case, the injured area is the Broca's area.

It is a type of aphasia characterized by

almost impossibility of a fluent verbal production. The individual knows what he wants to say, but has difficulty saying or writing it.

Example: an individual can say "Book book two table", when he meant "There are two books on the table".

The symptoms of expression aphasia are:

  • The individual speaks little and is aware of his mistakes.
  • Inability to find the words you want to speak.
  • Strives to keep up with the tongue, pharynx, and larynx.
  • It emits distorted words.
  • He does not have complicated words in his speech.
  • Understanding of language is almost normal.
Types of aphasia: characteristics and examples - Expression aphasia

Reception aphasia.

Reception aphasia is also known as Wernicke's aphasia or as sensitive aphasia. In that case, the lesion is in Wernicke's area, that is, the temporo-parietal areas.

It is a type of aphasia in which the individual presents language difficulties and comprehension difficulties understanding speech, including their own, they are not aware of the mistakes they make when communicating. And, there is also an inability to repeat other people's words. That aphasia is characterized by senseless creep.

Example: “I called my mom on TV and I didn't understand the door. My mother is not yet too old to be young ”.

The symptoms of reception aphasia are:

  • Inability to repeat words and phrases correctly.
  • Serious deficit in listening and reading comprehension of language.
  • Substitution of words for others with a similar meaning.
  • Trouble remembering words, such as names of objects.
  • The individual uses words without meaning.
  • Lack of awareness of linguistic errors.

Conduction aphasia.

Conduction aphasia is a consequence of a brain injury to a part called the arcuate fasciculus, which connects Broca's area with Wernicke's area.

The individual with conduction aphasia has a characteristic inability to repeat. His language is spontaneous and fluent, he has articulation and prosody, but the speed of his speech is slow. Has a relatively normal understanding.

In this aphasia we cannot present an example, but you can imagine a slow-speaking individual, with slow pronunciation of words.

The symptoms of conduction aphasia are:

  • Making many pauses when speaking.
  • Sending sentences with few words.
  • Little effort when speaking and good articulation.
  • They do not usually have syntactic deficits.
  • Oral language comprehension is variable.
  • Reading aloud and writing are impaired.
  • Reading comprehension is usually preserved.
Types of aphasia: characteristics and examples - Conduction aphasia

Transcortical sensory aphasia.

Transcortical sensory aphasia is characterized by a injury at the back of the junction between the parietal and occipital bones, an alteration of the temporal and parietal cortices near Wernicke's area.

In that case, aphasia is characterized by a great difficulty evoking words, understanding is preserved and individuals have preserved the ability to name, although they often need articulatory aids. It is a type of aphasia that occurs more commonly in individuals who present Alzheimer's.

In that aphasia we cannot present an example, but you can imagine an individual with great difficulty saying the words.

The symptoms of transcortical sensory aphasia are:

  • Frequent confusion
  • Fluid spontaneous language with paraphasias and neologisms.
  • Problems naming objects.
  • The individual can repeat quite long words and phrases.
  • They usually repeat the last words used by the interlocutor.

Transcortical motor aphasia.

Transcortical motor aphasia may also be known as dynamic aphasia. That kind of aphasia arises from injuries at supplementary motor area of the dominant frontal lobe. Or by lesions in the white matter in the prefrontal and premotor region.

The individual with transcortical motor aphasia suffers a reduction of spontaneous speech, generally their speech is difficult, scant and composed of short sentences. Understanding is preserved and they retain naming ability. It is an aphasia that is accompanied by motor alterations affecting the performance of actions.

The symptoms of transcortical motor aphasia are:

  • Initial mutism.
  • Loss of creep.
  • He speaks little.
  • Repetition preserved.
  • Motor disorders.
Types of aphasia: characteristics and examples - Transcortical motor aphasia

Global aphasia.

Global aphasia is characterized by a injury caused by temporary interruption of the blood supply in the artery, this lesion covers the entire perisylvian area of ​​the dominant hemisphere.

The individual with this type of aphasia has severely expressive and comprehension functions affected.

That type of aphasia is usually consequence of strokes that involve the territory of the left middle cerebral artery. When it occurs, at first a total silence usually appears in the individual, and then going to a certain verbalization. It is classified as a type of severe aphasia, since most of the cases, individuals manage to say few words and their understanding is very limited, they can neither read nor write.

Example: When the individual wants to answer "yes" they answer "no", often they tend to get confused when they want to say one thing and end up saying another. Another example is that they repeat the same syllable "ta ta ta ta".

The symptoms of global aphasia are:

  • Comprehension and expression affected.
  • Inability to read and write.
  • Reduced verbal emissions.
  • Stereotyped verbalization.
  • Fluency and comprehension problems.
  • Severe speech disorder.

Mixed aphasia.

Mixed aphasia, also called mixed extrasylvian aphasia, mixed transcortical aphasia or called de language area isolation syndrome It arises from certain pathologies, such as: hypoxia, carbon monoxide poisoning, acute occlusion of the carotid artery or transitory cardiac arrest.

This aphasia is a serious language disorder characterized by non-fluent verbal production, incomprehensible expressions, and obscene and stereotyped words. It is an aphasia that arises in final stages of Alzheimer's disease, fronto-temporal degeneration and in dementias not specific.

The symptoms of mixed aphasia are:

  • Repetition preserved.
  • He speaks little, but with meaning.
  • Difficulty in naming.
  • Affected understanding.
  • Impaired reading and writing.
Types of aphasia: characteristics and examples - Mixed aphasia

Anomic aphasia.

Anomic aphasia can occur due to injuries in various locations or also be residual due to some other aphasia in its rehabilitation process.

This type of aphasia is characterized by a difficulty in naming and fluent expressionThis happens because individuals with this aphasia have a difficult time using the names of people, places and things correctly. They have a relatively preserved understanding, although they may have difficulties understanding written words.

The symptoms of anomic aphasia are:

  • It affects the nouns.
  • Fluent speech, but is interrupted with the attempt to express a certain word.
  • Understanding preserved.
  • There are no mistakes in repetition and reading.
  • Problems finding nouns in spontaneous writing.

Primary progressive aphasia.

Primary progressive aphasia can also be named as Mesulam aphasia, It is a neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive language impairment. On the other hand, other cognitive functions remain relatively preserved.

It is an atrophy in the frontal and temporal cortical zones, thus, it is considered a dementia syndrome associated with degeneration.

The symptoms of primary progressive aphasia are:

  • Difficulty understanding oral or written language, particularly single words.
  • Problems understanding the meaning of words.
  • Difficulty naming objects.
  • Difficulty remembering words and word substitutions.
  • Take frequent pauses when speaking to look up words.
  • Difficulty repeating phrases or sentences.
Types of aphasia: characteristics and examples - Primary progressive aphasia

Nonfluent progressive aphasia.

Progressive non-fluent aphasia is about a form of primary progressive aphasia, whose main symptom is difficulty in verbal production.

The individual with this type of aphasia has difficulty finding the right word, has poor verbal fluency.

Symptoms of progressive non-fluent aphasia are:

  • Loss of verbal fluency.
  • Mutism.
  • Absence of oral expression.
  • Grammatical omission.

This article is merely informative, in Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to Types of aphasia: characteristics and examples, we recommend that you enter our category of Neuropsychology.


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  • MACHADO, A., (2003). Functional Neuroanatomy. São Paulo: Editora Atheneu.
  • Mayo Clinic. (2021). Aphasia. Recovered from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/es-es/diseases-conditions/aphasia/symptoms-causes/syc-20369518
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