Effects of Lexical Variables on Silent Reading Comprehension in Individuals With Aphasia: Evidence From Eye Tracking Purpose Previous eye-tracking research has suggested that individuals with aphasia (IWA) do not assign syntactic structure on their first pass through a sentence during silent reading comprehension. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the time course with which lexical variables affect silent reading comprehension in IWA. Three ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 18, 2017
Effects of Lexical Variables on Silent Reading Comprehension in Individuals With Aphasia: Evidence From Eye Tracking
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gayle DeDe
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Gayle DeDe: gayle.dede@temple.edu
  • Editor: Sean Redmond
    Editor: Sean Redmond×
  • Associate Editor: Swathi Kiran
    Associate Editor: Swathi Kiran×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 18, 2017
Effects of Lexical Variables on Silent Reading Comprehension in Individuals With Aphasia: Evidence From Eye Tracking
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 2017, Vol. 60, 2589-2602. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0045
History: Received February 4, 2016 , Revised August 8, 2016 , Accepted February 7, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 2017, Vol. 60, 2589-2602. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0045
History: Received February 4, 2016; Revised August 8, 2016; Accepted February 7, 2017

Purpose Previous eye-tracking research has suggested that individuals with aphasia (IWA) do not assign syntactic structure on their first pass through a sentence during silent reading comprehension. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the time course with which lexical variables affect silent reading comprehension in IWA. Three lexical variables were investigated: word frequency, word class, and word length.

Methods IWA and control participants without brain damage participated in the experiment. Participants read sentences while a camera tracked their eye movements.

Results IWA showed effects of word class, word length, and word frequency that were similar to or greater than those observed in controls.

Conclusions IWA showed sensitivity to lexical variables on the first pass through the sentence. The results are consistent with the view that IWA focus on lexical access on their first pass through a sentence and then work to build syntactic structure on subsequent passes. In addition, IWA showed very long rereading times and low skipping rates overall, which may contribute to some of the group differences in reading comprehension.

Acknowledgments
I would like to thank the participants for their assistance with this study. I would also like to thank Jessica Knilans, Sam Deitering, and other members of the Speech, Language and Brain lab at the University of Arizona for their help with data collection. This work was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders under Grant K23DC010808.
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