Complexity in the Treatment of Naming Deficits Purpose This article discusses a novel approach for treatment of lexical retrieval deficits in aphasia in which treatment begins with complex, rather than simple, lexical stimuli. This treatment considers the semantic complexity of items within semantic categories, with a focus on their featural detail. Method and Results Previous ... Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   February 01, 2007
Complexity in the Treatment of Naming Deficits
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Swathi Kiran
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Contact author: Swathi Kiran, CMA 7.206, Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712. E-mail: s-kiran@mail.utexas.edu.
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Clinical Forum: Complexity in Language Learning and Treatment
Clinical Forum   |   February 01, 2007
Complexity in the Treatment of Naming Deficits
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2007, Vol. 16, 18-29. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2007/004)
History: Received January 22, 2005 , Revised June 6, 2005 , Accepted December 23, 2005
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2007, Vol. 16, 18-29. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2007/004)
History: Received January 22, 2005; Revised June 6, 2005; Accepted December 23, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 37

Purpose This article discusses a novel approach for treatment of lexical retrieval deficits in aphasia in which treatment begins with complex, rather than simple, lexical stimuli. This treatment considers the semantic complexity of items within semantic categories, with a focus on their featural detail.

Method and Results Previous work on training items within animate categories (S. Kiran & C. K. Thompson, 2003b) and preliminary work aimed at items within inanimate categories are discussed in this article. Both these studies indicate that training atypical category items that entail features inherent in the category prototype as well as distinctive features that are not characteristic of the category prototype results in generalization to untrained typical examples which entail only features consistent with the category prototype. Conversely, training typical examples does not result in generalization to untrained atypical examples. In this article, it is argued that atypical items are more complex than typical items within a category, and a theoretical framework for this dimension of semantic complexity is discussed. Then, evidence from treatment studies that support this complexity hierarchy is presented. Potential patient- and stimulus-specific factors that may influence the success of this treatment approach are also discussed.

Conclusions The applications of semantic complexity to treatment of additional semantic categories and functional applications of this approach are proposed.

Acknowledgments
Portions of the work reported here were supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R03 DC6359 awarded to the author. The author would like to thank Dr. Cindy Thompson for her valuable input at various stages of this article.
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