Aphasics Can Distinguish Permuted Orders of Phonemes—But Only If Presented Rapidly Speech consists of a rapid succession of phonemes, and receptive aphasia has been attributed to an impairment in temporal acuity that interferes with the ability to discriminate between different arrangements of brief sounds. The present study reports evidence that aphasic listeners could distinguish between permuted orders of steady-state vowels occurring ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1995
Aphasics Can Distinguish Permuted Orders of Phonemes—But Only If Presented Rapidly
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Richard M. Warren
    Department of Psychology University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Daniel A. Gardner
    Department of Psychology University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Contact author: Richard M. Warren, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201.
    Contact author: Richard M. Warren, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201.×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1995
Aphasics Can Distinguish Permuted Orders of Phonemes—But Only If Presented Rapidly
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1995, Vol. 38, 473-476. doi:10.1044/jshr.3802.473
History: Received June 13, 1994 , Accepted October 25, 1994
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1995, Vol. 38, 473-476. doi:10.1044/jshr.3802.473
History: Received June 13, 1994; Accepted October 25, 1994

Speech consists of a rapid succession of phonemes, and receptive aphasia has been attributed to an impairment in temporal acuity that interferes with the ability to discriminate between different arrangements of brief sounds. The present study reports evidence that aphasic listeners could distinguish between permuted orders of steady-state vowels occurring at rates matching or exceeding those employed in natural speech production. They could not, however, distinguish between different arrangements when the rate of presentation was slowed, although this task could be accomplished with ease by nonaphasic listeners. Our results suggest that the poor comprehension of language by aphasics is not the consequence of deficits in the ordering of brief sounds, but rather involves difficulties in performing tasks requiring specific psycholinguistic skills.

Acknowledgments
We thank Anna M. Gresch, James A. Bashford, Jr., Bradley S. Brubaker, and Eric Healy for their help with various aspects of this study. This research was supported by a grant to the first author from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (DC00208).
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