Authors: Wunderlich A, Ziegler W
Title: Facilitation of picture-naming in anomic subjects: Sound vs mouth shape
Source: Aphasiology 2011 25(2): 202-220
Year: 2011
Research Design: Case Series

Background: Phonological cueing is often applied to assist spoken word retrieval in anomia. Phonological cues usually comprise auditory and visual information. Yet while the auditory channel provides full information about a cued phoneme, the mouth shape only contains information about certain features of a segment, e.g., place of articulation. Aims: This study aimed to investigate the immediate effectiveness of visual phonological information in anomic participants, as compared with auditory cueing, in assisting spoken word retrieval. Methods & Procedures: In a group of 16 anomic participants, spoken picture-naming tasks were administered using mouth shapes of initial segments of target words as visual cues, and initial phonemes as auditory cues. Outcomes & Results: Reaction time analyses revealed significant facilitation effects for both the visual and the auditory cues. Single-case analyses revealed selective effects: participants benefited either from auditory or from visual phonological information. Conclusions: Visually based phonetic feature information specifying the initial phoneme of a word can be sufficient to facilitate word retrieval. The cognitive neurolinguistic factors predicting the effectiveness of visual vs auditory-segmental cueing remain unresolved.

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