Authors: Linebarger MC, Schwartz MF, Kohn SE
Title: Computer-based training of language production: An exploratory study
Source: Neuropsychological Rehabilitation 2001 11(1): 57-96
Year: 2001
Research Design: Single Case Design

Described here is an exploratory study designed to assess the feasibility of two new technologies for the treatment of aphasic sentence processing disorders: a computerised therapy programme incorporating natural language understanding (NLU), software which enables the computer to understand spoken utterances; and an augmentative communication system functioning primarily as a "processing prosthesis", which allows patients to construct spoken sentences piecemeal and maintain elements already produced. Five agrammatic patients participated in a series of studies incorporating one or both of these technologies, and made language gains (ranging from modest to quite marked) following independent home use of the software. We hypothesise that the therapy and communication systems played complementary roles in this process, with the former training and/or priming specific grammatical structures and the latter providing the processing support necessary for these structures to be practised under normal conditions.

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