Craniotomy/Apasia creating loss of fluency in one language, but not another?

Hector nomail at
Thu Sep 9 22:36:12 EST 2004

Thank you again John.  I very much appreciate all the effort you've
put into helping me with this.

The "second language" I was referring to is Visual Basic, and its loss
brought my once free-lance programming business to a standstill.  When
I was still in the hospital, I borrowed my son's laptop, which
contained a number of fairly elaborate (say 1000 to 5000 lines of
code) application programs I was working on when the abscess sent me
sprawing onto my then-client's floor.  

At first, I was only able to remember what  the various "controls" on
the screen (buttons, drop-down boxes, etc) were intended to do in the
program (say, "Create an Invoice"),  and after a time was able to
actually operate the controls to perform a function as a user would;
i.e., I could create an invoice and fill in the required fields.  Some
time later, I could more or less understand how all the "modules"
contained in the program worked together (e.g. - creating an invoice
produces a record in the "Accounts Receivable" table, for example).  I
was very encouraged by that, believing that my "second language" would
be restored as my verbal English was.  

However, when I looked at the "code behind the forms," written in
Visual Basic, I was only able to grasp a small section of it, in the
sense that if I looked into the middle of a block of code, it was
apparent that I was say, subtracting one date from another, but I had
no idea *why* I was doing it, or what I was going to do with the
result.  I could see what amounted to a "window,"  say 15 lines of
code long, but couldn't connect what I was doing there with the rest
of the program.  I could move the window to the code in another module
and grasp yet another segment, but had no idea what *that* piece had
to do with anything else.  

Over the next year or so, I attempted to emulate the methods used by
my speech therapists in the hospital that was so remarkably successful
in re-connecting my mind to the rest of my English-speech-producing
apparatus.  That is, I began with my most basic book on Visual Basic
and attempted to progress through the balance of the many
thousand-page books that once before built my fluency in that

On Fri, 10 Sep 2004 11:11:16 +1000, "John Hasenkam" <johnh at faraway.>

>Michael Paradis is the chap to look for, he has done a lot of work on this.
>You need to do searches on "alternating aphasia". It is a very interesting
>and mysterious phenomenon.
>PDF] The neurocognition of recovery patterns in bilingual aphasics
>File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
>... patients can access only one of their language in spontaneous speech for
>periods of time (Nilipour & Ashayeri, 1989; Paradis, Goldblum & Abidi, 1982
> academic/thomas_m/Green_Neurocogrec04.pdf -
>Similar pages
>Nilipour, R. 1989. " Bilingual aphasia in Iran: a preliminary report",
>[PDF] Bilingualism and the Brain
>File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
>... are a number of other explanations for these data (see Paradis 1996 and
>... increase
>in the number of cross-language errors in the alternating condition relative
> from-meiti/32-Hernandez-Bates%20MIT.pdf -
>Similar pages

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