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Exploring the dynamics of aphasic word production using the picture–word interference task: A case study

In this study, we use an auditory picture–word interference task to examine an anomic individual, NP. NP produced semantic errors in picture naming, but his comprehension was relatively well preserved. In the task, pictures to be named were accompanied by semantically, phonologically or unrelated distractors, presented at onsets ranging from −200 ms (before target) to +400 ms (after target). Naming latencies were measured. A group of 12 older controls showed semantic interference (slower latencies with semantic than with unrelated distractors), which was significant at −200 ms, and steadily diminished across later onsets. In contrast, at 0 ms, NP showed powerful semantic facilitation . There were no significant semantic effects at other onsets, but the trends, particularly at later onsets, were towards interference . Phonological effects for NP were in the same direction as for controls (facilitation) but were of greater magnitude. Indeed, NP showed a reliable facilitatory effect at 0 ms (and trends at −200 ms and +200 ms), but a similar trend in controls failed to reach significance. Within recent models of this task, in which semantic facilitation effects are attributed to an early, pre-lexical semantic processing stage, NP's pattern indicates that semantic processing is abnormally prolonged. The phonological facilitation effects are also consistent with this interpretation. We discuss their implications and future applications of the task to aphasia. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Neuropsychologia Elsevier
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