Authors: Martin N, Laine M
Title: Effects of contextual priming on impaired word retrieval
Source: Aphasiology 2000 14(1): 53-70
Year: 2000
Research Design: Single Case Design

We investigated the effects of contextual priming on picture naming in a severely anomic patient suffering from Wernicke's aphasia. The contextual priming method attempts to facilitate impaired lexical retrieval with massive repetition priming of word targets, coupled with manipulation of relationships among pictures to-be-named (semantic, phonological and unrelated.) We were interested in comparing our patient's results with those of a previously reported case whose underlying mechanisms of anomia were different (Laine and Martin, 1996). Both case studies show similar contextual effects on naming error patterns, confirming that the present method has the potential of activating multiple lexical entries in aphasics. At the same time, the two patients show different contextual effects on their rates of correct responses. In particular, only the present case is facilitated by a phonologically related context in naming. The implication of treatment studies is that it is useful to match priming treatments to the deficit that underlies word retrieval difficulty.

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