Typicality of Inanimate Category Exemplars in Aphasia Treatment: Further Evidence for Semantic Complexity

Kiran, Swathi
December 2008
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Dec2008, Vol. 51 Issue 6, p1550
Academic Journal
Purpose: The typicality treatment approach on improving naming was investigated within 2 inanimate categories (furniture and clothing) using a single-subject experimental design across participants and behaviors in 5 patients with aphasia. Method: Participants received a semantic feature treatment to improve naming of either typical or atypical items within semantic categories, whereas generalization was tested to untrained items of the category. The order of typicality and category trained was counterbalanced across participants. Results: Results indicated that 2 out of 4 patients trained on naming of atypical examples demonstrated generalization to naming untrained typical examples. One patient showed trends toward generalization but did not achieve criterion. Furthermore, all 4 patients trained on typical examples demonstrated no generalized naming to untrained atypical examples within the category. Also, analysis of errors indicated an evolution of errors as a result of treatment, from those with no apparent relationship to the target to primarily semantic and phonemic paraphasias. Conclusion: These results extend our previous findings (S. Kiran & C. K. Thompson, 2003a) to patients with nonfluent aphasia and to inanimate categories such as furniture and clothing. Additionally, the results provide support for the claim that training atypical examples is a more efficient method of facilitating generalization to untrained items within a category than training typical examples (S. Kiran, 2007).


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