The Role of Semantic Complexity in Treatment of Naming Deficits Training Semantic Categories in Fluent Aphasia by Controlling Exemplar Typicality Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2003
The Role of Semantic Complexity in Treatment of Naming Deficits
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Swathi Kiran, PhD
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Cynthia K. Thompson
    Northwestern University Evanston, IL
  • Contact author: Swathi Kiran, PhD CCC-SLP, Rm 7.206, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712. Email: s-kiran@mail.utexas.edu
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2003
The Role of Semantic Complexity in Treatment of Naming Deficits
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2003, Vol. 46, 608-622. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/048)
History: Received April 4, 2002 , Accepted November 13, 2002
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2003, Vol. 46, 608-622. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/048)
History: Received April 4, 2002; Accepted November 13, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 46

The effect of typicality of category exemplars on naming was investigated using a single subject experimental design across participants and behaviors in 4 patients with fluent aphasia. Participants received a semantic feature treatment to improve naming of either typical or atypical items within semantic categories, while generalization was tested to untrained items of the category. The order of typicality and category trained was counterbalanced across participants. Results indicated that patients trained on naming of atypical exemplars demonstrated generalization to naming of intermediate and typical items. However, patients trained on typical items demonstrated no generalized naming effect to intermediate or atypical examples. Furthermore, analysis of errors indicated an evolution of errors throughout training, from those with no apparent relationship to the target to primarily semantic and phonemic paraphasias. Performance on standardized language tests also showed changes as a function of treatment. Theoretical and clinical implications regarding the impact of considering semantic complexity on rehabilitation of naming deficits in aphasia are discussed.

Acknowledgments
Parts of this work comprised the first author's doctoral dissertation at Northwestern University. The authors wish to thank Drs. Douglas Medin, Karla McGregor, and James Booth for their valuable contributions as committee members. The authors also thank Dr. David Plaut for his helpful comments on the manuscript. This research was supported in part by the National Institute of Health Grant R01-DC01948 (Cynthia K. Thompson) and the Cognitive Science Program at Northwestern University.
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