Authors: Zettin M, Leopizzi M, Galetto V
Title: How does language change after an intensive treatment on imitation?
Source: Neuropsychological Rehabilitation 2019 29(9): 1332-1358
Year: 2019
Research Design: Case Series

The main aim of our study was to investigate the role of imitation in improving word-finding difficulties in a group of aphasic subjects. For this purpose, we designed software based on the computerised program described by Lee et al. (2010). Seven subjects with aphasia resulting from a brain injury were enrolled in the study. A battery of tests was administered to participants one month before the treatment (T0) and immediately before its beginning (T1) with the aim of detecting their language difficulties. In the period between T0 and T1 sessions, participants underwent traditional logopaedic and neuropsychological rehabilitation. The treatment lasted 45 days with 90-minute sessions per day and it was personalised in terms of difficulty for each of the subjects. During every session the task required participants to carefully observe and then imitate six actors while pronouncing aloud a series of words and sentences describing a set of items. The results showed a significant improvement in the whole sample and in all the analysed measures only between T1 and T2 (post-training evaluation), while, as expected, no improvement was registered between T0 and T1. Such outcomes are consistent with research showing the key role played by imitation in the word retrieval process following aphasia.

Access: Paywall