Authors: Le Dorze G, Boulay N, Gaudreau J, Brassard C
Title: The contrasting effects of a semantic versus a formal-semantic technique for the facilitation of naming in a case of anomia
Source: Aphasiology 1994 8(2): 127-141
Year: 1994
Research Design: Single Case Design

Facilitation techniques deemed 'semantic' in nature appear to be superior to other techniques in the remediation of anomia (Howard et al. 1985a). In such techniques, however, information about the spoken or written form of the picture name is provided, i.e. the word is presented either in writing or auditorily, and is embedded in a task requiring semantic treatment of the stimulus. The objective of this study is to determine the relative contribution of information about the spoken or written form of the picture name to the facilitative effect of semantic techniques. A single-subject study of a patient with moderately severe mixed aphasia and anomia was undertaken. The patient had received regular therapy and 20 months had elapsed since the cerebro-vascular accident (CVA) at the beginning of the experiment. An alternating treatment design compared the effects on naming of a formal-semantic facilitation technique (including the spoken or written word form in a semantic comprehension task) to a purely semantic facilitation technique (a semantic comprehension task without the word form). The results indicated that naming improved significantly for the items treated with the formal-semantic technique, while there was no change in naming for the items treated with the purely semantic technique. These results may signify that the inclusion of word forms in the semantic task is a critical element of the facilitation technique. The formal-semantic technique is interpreted to activate both word forms and word semantics; it is thus hypothesized to provide information which facilitates naming. Some positive changes were also observed in a picture description task, which is suggestive of unpredicted generalisation.

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