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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christos Salis
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Auditory-verbal short-term memory impairments are part and parcel of aphasia and interfere with linguistic processing. To date, the science about short-term memory impairments in aphasia has been generated and dominated by studying measures of accuracy, that is, span length. Because accuracy is expressed through speech, examining the speech-timing characteristics of persons with aphasia as they engage in spoken recall could reveal insights about the manner in which accuracy is achieved. Six speech-timing measures (e.g., response durations, pause durations) were elicited from the speech waveform of word span tasks from twelve people with aphasia. Speech-timing measures were compared to neuro-typical control participants. Speech-timing performance between erroneous and correct responses in the aphasia group was also examined. Across all measures, people with aphasia produced considerably longer speech-timing patterns in comparison to control participants. Memory load affected some measures in people with aphasia and control participants. Speech-timing in correct response trials was shorter than responses in erroneous trials. Memory span correlated only with one measure, namely, speech time (defined as the sum of each individual word duration in a response). Speech time also correlated with the following measures: Aphasia severity (Aphasia Quotient of the Western Aphasia Battery), spontaneous speech, and language comprehension (also measured by the Western Aphasia Battery). Some protracted speech-timing patterns in the aphasia group may be explained by a deregulation of activation-decay patterns. However, in the absence of further evidence from people with aphasia, possible issues around the sensitivity of some speech-timing measures limit firmer conclusions. Speech-timing measures are response-time measures, which have not been systematically studied in studies of short-term or working memory in aphasia and as such, can push the current boundaries of knowledge of short-term and working memory impairments in aphasia, not only in stroke related aphasia but also other neurological conditions.
Author(s): Salis C, Martin N, Meehan SV, McCaffery K
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Neurolinguistics
Print publication date: 01/11/2018
Online publication date: 04/05/2018
Acceptance date: 30/04/2018
Date deposited: 30/04/2018
ISSN (print): 0911-6044
ISSN (electronic): 1873-8052
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
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