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What does a cue do? Comparing phonological and semantic cues for picture naming in aphasia

Meteyard, L. and Bose, A. (2018) What does a cue do? Comparing phonological and semantic cues for picture naming in aphasia. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 61 (3). pp. 658-674. ISSN 1558-9102

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-17-0214


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 categorisation 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) four times. Each presentation of the items was accompanied by a different cueing condition (phonological, semantic, non-associated 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 was analysed using generalised 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, i.e., 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.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
ID Code:75215


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