Quantifying the Effort Individuals With Aphasia Invest in Working Memory Tasks Through Heart Rate Variability Purpose The objective of this study was to quantify cognitive effort that individuals with aphasia and neurologically intact participants dedicate to verbal compared with spatial working memory tasks by using a physiological measure of effort: heart rate variability (HRV). Method Participants included 8 individuals with aphasia and 19 ... Supplement Article
Supplement Article  |   May 01, 2014
Quantifying the Effort Individuals With Aphasia Invest in Working Memory Tasks Through Heart Rate Variability
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Stephanie C. Christensen
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Heather Harris Wright
    East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Stephanie C. Christensen, who is now at Northern Arizona University: Stephanie.Christensen@nau.edu
  • Editor: Swathi Kiran
    Editor: Swathi Kiran×
  • Associate Editor: Carl Coelho
    Associate Editor: Carl Coelho×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Supplement: Select Papers From the 43rd Clinical Aphasiology Conference
Supplement Article   |   May 01, 2014
Quantifying the Effort Individuals With Aphasia Invest in Working Memory Tasks Through Heart Rate Variability
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2014, Vol. 23, S361-S371. doi:10.1044/2014_AJSLP-13-0082
History: Received August 2, 2013 , Revised November 4, 2013 , Accepted February 12, 2014
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2014, Vol. 23, S361-S371. doi:10.1044/2014_AJSLP-13-0082
History: Received August 2, 2013; Revised November 4, 2013; Accepted February 12, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose The objective of this study was to quantify cognitive effort that individuals with aphasia and neurologically intact participants dedicate to verbal compared with spatial working memory tasks by using a physiological measure of effort: heart rate variability (HRV).

Method Participants included 8 individuals with aphasia and 19 neurologically intact adults. Participants completed 3 verbal and 3 spatial working memory tasks that varied in difficulty. Performance accuracy and effort allocated to tasks was recorded. Effort was quantified as the change in the 0.07–0.14 Hz band of HRV from baseline to task conditions.

Results Results indicated that individuals with aphasia and control participants allocated effort to verbal and spatial working memory tasks. Unlike the control participants, participants with aphasia did not differentially invest effort based on task difficulty. Neither group allocated effort differentially based on task type.

Conclusions Results of the physiological data provide preliminary support for accounts indicating that individuals with aphasia do not properly allocate effort to cognitive–linguistic tasks. Analysis of the Group × Difficulty interaction indicated that the aphasia group did not allocate extra effort when it was required. The lack of a difference in HRV for spatial and verbal tasks suggests that this difference is not specific to verbal stimuli.

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