Nonlinguistic Learning in Individuals With Aphasia: Effects of Training Method and Stimulus Characteristics Purpose The purpose of the current study was to explore nonlinguistic learning ability in individuals with aphasia, examining the impact of stimulus typicality and feedback on success with learning. Method Eighteen individuals with aphasia and 8 nonaphasic controls participated in this study. All participants completed 4 computerized, nonlinguistic ... Supplement Article
Supplement Article  |   May 01, 2013
Nonlinguistic Learning in Individuals With Aphasia: Effects of Training Method and Stimulus Characteristics
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sofia Vallila-Rohter
    Boston University, MA
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
  • Swathi Kiran
    Boston University, MA
  • Correspondence to Sofia Vallila-Rohter: sofiav@mit.edu
  • Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer
    Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer×
  • Associate Editor: Carl Coelho
    Associate Editor: Carl Coelho×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Supplement: Select Papers From the 42nd Clinical Aphasiology Conference
Supplement Article   |   May 01, 2013
Nonlinguistic Learning in Individuals With Aphasia: Effects of Training Method and Stimulus Characteristics
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2013, Vol. 22, S426-S437. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2013/12-0087)
History: Accepted February 3, 2012 , Received July 29, 2012 , Revised December 14, 2012
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2013, Vol. 22, S426-S437. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2013/12-0087)
History: Accepted February 3, 2012; Received July 29, 2012; Revised December 14, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose The purpose of the current study was to explore nonlinguistic learning ability in individuals with aphasia, examining the impact of stimulus typicality and feedback on success with learning.

Method Eighteen individuals with aphasia and 8 nonaphasic controls participated in this study. All participants completed 4 computerized, nonlinguistic category-learning tasks. Learning ability was probed under 2 methods of instruction: feedback-based (FB) and paired-associate (PA). The impact of task complexity on learning ability was also examined, comparing 2 stimulus conditions: typical and atypical. Performance was compared between groups and across conditions.

Results The controls were able to successfully learn categories under all conditions. For the individuals with aphasia, 2 patterns of performance arose: One subgroup of individuals was able to maintain learning across task manipulations and conditions; the other subgroup demonstrated a sensitivity to task complexity, learning successfully only in the typical training conditions.

Conclusion Results support the hypothesis that impairments of general learning are present in individuals with aphasia. Some individuals demonstrated the ability to extract category information under complex training conditions; others learned only under conditions that were simplified and that emphasized salient category features. Overall, the typical training condition facilitated learning for all of the participants. Findings have implications for treatment, which are discussed.

Acknowledgment
We would like to thank all of our participants, caregivers, and relatives for contributing to this study. This project was made possible in part by Grant T32 DC00038 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
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