Authors: Renvall K, Laine M, Martin N
Title: Contextual priming in semantic anomia: a case study
Source: Brain and Language 2005 95(2): 327-341
Year: 2005
Research Design: Single Case Design

The present case continues the series of anomia treatment studies with contextual priming (CP), being the second in-depth treatment study conducted for an individual suffering from semantically based anomia. Our aim was to acquire further evidence of the facilitation and interference effects of the CP treatment on semantic anomia. Based on the results of the study of , our hypothesis before the treatment was that our participant would show short-term interference and at most modest and short-term benefit from treatment. To acquire such evidence would not only be important for the choice of anomia treatment methods in individual patients, but would also prompt further development of the CP method. The CP technique used for our participant included cycles of repeating and naming items in three contextual conditions (semantic, phonological, and unrelated). As predicted, the overall improvement of naming was modest and short-term. Interestingly, the contextual condition that corresponded with the nature of our patient's underlying naming deficit (semantic) elicited immediate interference in the form of contextual naming errors, as well as short-term improvement of naming. Based on this and a recent study by , it appears that despite short-term positive effects, in its current form the CP treatment is not sufficient for those aphasics who have a semantic deficit underlying their anomia. The possible mechanism and directions for future research are discussed.

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