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Complexity matters: semantic availability of Croatian Broca’s aphasics

Peti-Stantić, Anita; Erdeljac, Vlasta; Willer Gold, Jana
Complexity matters: semantic availability of Croatian Broca’s aphasics // Psycho- and neurolinguistic approaches to the grammar- lexicon distinction
Copenhagen, Danska, 2015. (predavanje, međunarodna recenzija, pp prezentacija, znanstveni)

Complexity matters: semantic availability of Croatian Broca’s aphasics

Peti-Stantić, Anita ; Erdeljac, Vlasta ; Willer Gold, Jana

Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija rada
Sažeci sa skupova, pp prezentacija, znanstveni

Psycho- and neurolinguistic approaches to the grammar- lexicon distinction

Mjesto i datum
Copenhagen, Danska, 01-03.10. 2015

Vrsta sudjelovanja

Vrsta recenzije
Međunarodna recenzija

Ključne riječi
Brocca's aphasia; complexity of grammars; imageability

PALPA (Psycholinguistic Assessments of Language Processing in Aphasia ; Kay et al. 1992) battery of tests was translated and adapted to Croatian (Erdeljac et al. 2014 ; Peti-Stantić et al. 2014) and a group of aphasics was tested in order to assess the hypothesized difference in accuracy modulated by the feature of imageability (HI for High Imageable and LI for Low Imageable ; cf. Gvion and Friedman 2013 ; Dual-Coding Theory: Paivio 1990, 2010 ; Holcomb et al. 1999 ; Kounios and Holcomb 1994 ; West and Holcomb 2000 ; Sabsevitz et al. 2005). We further explored the relation of verbal and nonverbal cognition. Our hypothesis is that bimodal presentation of stimuli, and the complexity of performed cognitive and lexical tasks influence the accuracy of lexical choices in the aphasic group. Our research was conducted based on three tests from PALPA battery designed to examine lexical processing - in binary matching condition and in forced task word-picture and only language-mediated condition. The study included 30 participants with different types of fluent and non-fluent aphasia and 30 paired healthy participants, all native speakers of Croatian. We specifically report results of 11 Broca’s aphasics. They scored significantly lower than other aphasics (including anomic aphasics) and healthy participants on all tests and exhibited by far the greatest variation across subjects. The difference between Broca’s and anomic aphasics did not reach significance for tests of lower complexity (47 and 48), but was highly significant for complex tests (0.0002 for HI and LI), irrespective of the modality. Standard reports on types of deficits limited to syntactic processing demonstrated by Broca’s aphasics already established that they perform poorly on certain syntactic tasks, especially ones in which they have to rely only on syntax and cannot use contextual information to arrive at the understanding. This holds for English and crosslinguistically (Caplan and Futter 1986 ; Caplan et al. 2007, 2013 ; Bates et al. 1991 ; Lukatela et al. 1988, 1995). However, Broca’s patients are rarely tested on lexical decision tasks. By comaring our data to data from syntactic processing studies, we conclude that divergence of Broca’s aphasics in processing lexical tasks of different complexity from other groups tested is due to the weight and stability of disruptions in the process and not due to knowledge type. Such findings, coupled with more controlled psycholinguistic studies, should enable us to redefine Broca’s aphasics deficits. Since the data suggest that syntax and lexicon are equally disrupted, our tentative claim is that the deficit Broca’s aphasics suffer from lies in the domain of complexity and is not specifically pertinent to the syntax. Concerning the other condition, undoubtedly we need a systematic series of comparisons in order to distinguish between pure linguistic, language-mediated and visual tasks. We present the setup of controlled RT studies for an ordered set of non-linguistic and linguistic tasks that overlap in sensorimotor and semantic domains, closely matched on all procedural dimensions and timing dimensions. The present study did not comprise such a match because we decided to start with an established testing battery designed both for diagnostics and research (Bate et al. 2010 ; Kay et al. 2010). It turned out that the PALPA battery calls for significant improvements in order to become truly suitable for psycholinguistic experimentation.

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Znanstvena područja


Filozofski fakultet, Zagreb