Gesturing by Speakers With Aphasia: How Does It Compare? PurposeTo study the independence of gesture and verbal language production. The authors assessed whether gesture can be semantically compensatory in cases of verbal language impairment and whether speakers with aphasia and control participants use similar depiction techniques in gesture.MethodThe informativeness of gesture was assessed in 3 forced-choice studies, in which ... Article
Article  |   August 01, 2013
Gesturing by Speakers With Aphasia: How Does It Compare?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lisette Mol
    Tilburg Center for Cognition and Communication, Tilburg University, the Netherlands
  • Emiel Krahmer
    Tilburg Center for Cognition and Communication, Tilburg University, the Netherlands
  • Mieke van de Sandt-Koenderman
    Rijndam Rehabilitation Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam
  • Correspondence to Lisette Mol: l.mol@uvt.nl
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Margaret Blake
    Associate Editor: Margaret Blake×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Apraxia of Speech & Childhood Apraxia of Speech / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Language
Article   |   August 01, 2013
Gesturing by Speakers With Aphasia: How Does It Compare?
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2013, Vol. 56, 1224-1236. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0159)
History: Received June 24, 2011 , Revised March 15, 2012 , Accepted November 5, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2013, Vol. 56, 1224-1236. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0159)
History: Received June 24, 2011; Revised March 15, 2012; Accepted November 5, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

PurposeTo study the independence of gesture and verbal language production. The authors assessed whether gesture can be semantically compensatory in cases of verbal language impairment and whether speakers with aphasia and control participants use similar depiction techniques in gesture.

MethodThe informativeness of gesture was assessed in 3 forced-choice studies, in which raters assessed the topic of the speaker's message in video clips of 13 speakers with moderate aphasia and 12 speakers with severe aphasia, who were performing a communication test (the Scenario Test). Both groups were compared and contrasted with 17 control participants, who either were or were not allowed to communicate verbally. In addition, the representation techniques used in gesture were analyzed.

ResultsGestures produced by speakers with more severe aphasia were less informative than those by speakers with moderate aphasia, yet they were not necessarily uninformative. Speakers with more severe aphasia also tended to use fewer representation techniques (mostly relying on outlining gestures) in co-speech gesture than control participants, who were asked to use gesture instead of speech. It is important to note that limb apraxia may be a mediating factor here.

ConclusionsThese results suggest that in aphasia, gesture tends to degrade with verbal language. This may imply that the processes underlying verbal language and co-speech gesture production, although partly separate, are closely linked.

Acknowledgments
We gratefully acknowledge all speakers for allowing us to analyze their data; Renske Hoedemaker for collecting the data of our control group; Vera Nijveld for doing the reliability coding; and Hans Westerbeek, Hanneke Schoormans, and Manon Yassa for their help with the forced-choice studies.
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