Authors: Lott SN, Sperling AJ, Watson NL, Friedman RB
Title: Repetition priming in oral text reading: a therapeutic strategy for phonologic text alexia
Source: Aphasiology 2009 23(6): 659-675
Year: 2009
Research Design: Single Case Design

BACKGROUND: Phonologic text alexia (PhTA) is a reading disorder in which reading of pseudowords is impaired, but reading of real words is impaired only when reading text. Oral reading accuracy remains well preserved when words are presented individually, but when presented in text the part-of-speech effect that is often seen in phonologic alexia (PhA) emerges. AIMS: To determine whether repetition priming could strengthen and/or maintain the activation of words during text reading. METHODS and PROCEDURES: We trained NYR, a patient with PhTA, to use a strategy, sentence building, designed to improve accuracy of reading words in text. The strategy required NYR to first read the initial word, and then build up the sentence by adding on sequential words, in a step-wise manner, utilising the benefits of repetition priming to enhance accuracy. OUTCOMES and RESULTS: When using the strategy, NYR displayed improved accuracy not only for sentences she practised using the strategy, but unpractised sentences as well. Additionally, NYR performed better on a test of comprehension when using the strategy, as compared to without the strategy. CONCLUSIONS: In light of research linking repetition priming to increased neural processing efficiency, our results suggest that use of this compensatory strategy improves reading accuracy and comprehension by temporarily boosting phonologic activation levels.

Access: Paywall