Recovery of Online Sentence Processing in Aphasia: Eye Movement Changes Resulting From Treatment of Underlying Forms Purpose The present study tested whether (and how) language treatment changed online sentence processing in individuals with aphasia. Method Participants with aphasia (n = 10) received a 12-week program of Treatment of Underlying Forms (Thompson & Shapiro, 2005) focused on production and comprehension of passive sentences. Before and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 24, 2017
Recovery of Online Sentence Processing in Aphasia: Eye Movement Changes Resulting From Treatment of Underlying Forms
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jennifer E. Mack
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • Cynthia K. Thompson
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
    Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
    Department of Neurology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Jennifer Mack: Jennifer-mack-0@northwestern.edu
  • Editor: Sean Redmond
    Editor: Sean Redmond×
  • Associate Editor: Carl Coelho
    Associate Editor: Carl Coelho×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 24, 2017
Recovery of Online Sentence Processing in Aphasia: Eye Movement Changes Resulting From Treatment of Underlying Forms
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, May 2017, Vol. 60, 1299-1315. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-16-0108
History: Received March 18, 2016 , Revised September 6, 2016 , Accepted November 7, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, May 2017, Vol. 60, 1299-1315. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-16-0108
History: Received March 18, 2016; Revised September 6, 2016; Accepted November 7, 2016

Purpose The present study tested whether (and how) language treatment changed online sentence processing in individuals with aphasia.

Method Participants with aphasia (n = 10) received a 12-week program of Treatment of Underlying Forms (Thompson & Shapiro, 2005) focused on production and comprehension of passive sentences. Before and after treatment, participants performed a sentence-picture matching task with active and passive sentences as eye movements were tracked. Twelve age-matched controls also performed the task once each.

Results In the age-matched group, eye movements indicated agent-first predictive processing after hearing the subject noun, followed by rapid thematic reanalysis after hearing the verb form. Pretreatment eye movements in the participants with aphasia showed no predictive agent-first processing, and more accurate thematic analysis in active compared to passive sentences. After treatment, which resulted in improved offline passive sentence production and comprehension, participants were more likely to respond correctly when they made agent-first eye movements early in the sentence, showed equally reliable thematic analysis in active and passive sentences, and were less likely to use a spatially based alternative response strategy.

Conclusions These findings suggest that treatment focused on improving sentence production and comprehension supports the emergence of more normal-like sentence comprehension processes.

Acknowledgments
The work reported here was part of a larger, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders–funded multisite Clinical Research Center, the Center for the Neurobiology of Language Recovery (CNLR), Grant NIH-P50-DC012283, awarded to C. K. Thompson. It was also supported by National Institutes of Health Grant NIH-DC001948, awarded to C. K. Thompson. The authors would like to thank the research participants and their families and caregivers, as well as Elena Barbieri, Katrin Bovbjerg, Sarah Chandler, Brianne Dougherty, Stephanie Gutierrez, Mahir Mameledzija, Michaela Nerantzini, Caitlin Radnis, and Matthew Walenski, for assistance with data collection, data analysis, and helpful discussions.
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