What Does a Cue Do? Comparing Phonological and Semantic Cues for Picture Naming in Aphasia Purpose Impaired naming is one of the most common symptoms in aphasia, often treated with cued picture naming paradigms. It has been argued that semantic cues facilitate the reliable categorization of the picture, and phonological cues facilitate the retrieval of target phonology. To test these hypotheses, we compared the effectiveness ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 15, 2018
What Does a Cue Do? Comparing Phonological and Semantic Cues for Picture Naming in Aphasia
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lotte Meteyard
    Department of Clinical Language Sciences, School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, United Kingdom
  • Arpita Bose
    Department of Clinical Language Sciences, School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, United Kingdom
  • 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 Arpita Bose: a.bose@reading.ac.uk
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond
    Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond×
  • Editor: Charles Ellis
    Editor: Charles Ellis×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 15, 2018
What Does a Cue Do? Comparing Phonological and Semantic Cues for Picture Naming in Aphasia
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 2018, Vol. 61, 658-674. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-17-0214
History: Received June 2, 2017 , Revised September 27, 2017 , Accepted November 15, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 2018, Vol. 61, 658-674. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-17-0214
History: Received June 2, 2017; Revised September 27, 2017; Accepted November 15, 2017

Purpose Impaired naming is one of the most common symptoms in aphasia, often treated with cued picture naming paradigms. It has been argued that semantic cues facilitate the reliable categorization of the picture, and phonological cues facilitate the retrieval of target phonology. To test these hypotheses, we compared the effectiveness of phonological and semantic cues in picture naming for a group of individuals with aphasia. To establish the locus of effective cueing, we also tested whether cue type interacted with lexical and image properties of the targets.

Method Individuals with aphasia (n = 10) were tested with a within-subject design. They named a large set of items (n = 175) 4 times. Each presentation of the items was accompanied by a different cueing condition (phonological, semantic, nonassociated word and tone). Item level variables for the targets (i.e., phoneme length, frequency, imageability, name agreement, and visual complexity) were used to test the interaction of cue type and item variables. Naming accuracy data were analyzed using generalized linear mixed effects models.

Results Phonological cues were more effective than semantic cues, improving accuracy across individuals. However, phonological cues did not interact with phonological or lexical aspects of the picture names (e.g., phoneme length, frequency). Instead, they interacted with properties of the picture itself (i.e., visual complexity), such that phonological cues improved naming accuracy for items with low visual complexity.

Conclusions The findings challenge the theoretical assumptions that phonological cues map to phonological processes. Instead, phonological information benefits the earliest stages of picture recognition, aiding the initial categorization of the target. The data help to explain why patterns of cueing are not consistent in aphasia; that is, it is not the case that phonological impairments always benefit from phonological cues and semantic impairments form semantic cues. A substantial amount of the literature in naming therapy focuses on picture naming paradigms. Therefore, the results are also critically important for rehabilitation, allowing for therapy development to be more rooted in the true mechanisms through which cues are processed.

Acknowledgments
Data analysis was supported by a British Academy Skill Acquisition Grant (SQ120069) to L. M. We are indebted to all our participants for their enthusiasm and time for participation in this research.
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