Stealing Cookies in the Twenty-First Century: Measures of Spoken Narrative in Healthy Versus Speakers With Aphasia Purpose Our goal was to evaluate an updated version of the “Cookie Theft” picture by obtaining norms based on picture descriptions by healthy controls for total content units (CUs), syllables per CU, and the ratio of left–right CUs. In addition, we aimed to compare these measures from healthy controls to ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   September 11, 2018
Stealing Cookies in the Twenty-First Century: Measures of Spoken Narrative in Healthy Versus Speakers With Aphasia
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Shauna Berube
    Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Jodi Nonnemacher
    Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Cornelia Demsky
    Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Shenly Glenn
    Miro Corporation, San Francisco, CA
  • Sadhvi Saxena
    Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Amy Wright
    Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Donna C. Tippett
    Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
    Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
    Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Argye E. Hillis
    Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
    Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
    Department of Cognitive Science, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  • 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 Argye E. Hillis: argye@jhmi.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Margaret Blake
    Editor-in-Chief: Margaret Blake×
  • Editor: Christos Salis
    Editor: Christos Salis×
  • Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: Select Papers From the 47th Clinical Aphasiology Conference.
    Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: Select Papers From the 47th Clinical Aphasiology Conference.×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   September 11, 2018
Stealing Cookies in the Twenty-First Century: Measures of Spoken Narrative in Healthy Versus Speakers With Aphasia
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0131
History: Received August 21, 2017 , Revised December 7, 2017 , Accepted April 8, 2018
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0131
History: Received August 21, 2017; Revised December 7, 2017; Accepted April 8, 2018

Purpose Our goal was to evaluate an updated version of the “Cookie Theft” picture by obtaining norms based on picture descriptions by healthy controls for total content units (CUs), syllables per CU, and the ratio of left–right CUs. In addition, we aimed to compare these measures from healthy controls to picture descriptions obtained from individuals with poststroke aphasia and primary progressive aphasia (PPA) to assess whether these measures can capture impairments in content and efficiency of communication.

Method Using an updated version of this picture, we analyzed descriptions from 50 healthy controls to develop norms for numbers of syllables, total CUs, syllables per CU, and left–right CU. We provide preliminary data from 44 individuals with aphasia (19 with poststroke aphasia and 25 with PPA).

Results A total of 96 CUs were established based on the written transcriptions of spoken picture descriptions of the 50 control participants. There was a significant effect of group on total CUs, syllables, syllables per CU, and left–right CUs. The poststroke participants produced significantly fewer total CU and syllables than those with PPA. Each aphasic group produced significantly fewer total CUs, fewer syllables, more syllables per CU, and lower left–right CUs (indicating a right-sided bias) compared to controls.

Conclusions Results show that the measures of numbers of syllables, total CUs, syllables per CU, and left–right CUs can distinguish language output of individuals with aphasia from controls and capture impairments in content and efficiency of communication. A limitation of this study is that we evaluated only 44 individuals with aphasia. In the future, we will evaluate other measures, such as CUs per minute, lexical variability, grammaticality, and ratio of nouns to verbs.

Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.7015223

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders) through R01 DC05375 (A. E. H., A. W.), P50 DC014664 (S. B., J. N., D. C. T., and A. E. H.), and R01 DC015466 (A. E. H., S. S.).
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