Effectiveness of Key Wording on Story Comprehension and Visual Attention for People with Aphasia



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Aphasia is a neurogenic disorder affecting the language centers of the brain. People with aphasia(PWA) experience deficits in expressive and/or receptive language which make it difficult to participate in everyday conversation. One technique that is used by communication partners of PWA to facilitate conversation is key wording. Key wording occurs when a communication partner provides written and spoken information simultaneously to support the comprehension of a PWA.  Although key wording is a commonly used technique, guidance is lacking in regarding how much text is necessary to provide to PWA for optimal comprehension support. The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of three levels of input (i.e. full transcription, noun and verb, and no key words) on the story comprehension and visual attention of PWA. In each condition, participants will view on an eye-tracker monitor a person reading a short story while one of three texts levels is presented on the screen next to the reader: full transcription of the spoken words, only the nouns and verbs read in the story, and no text. We will also use eye-tracking technology to analyze participants' visual attention allocation during each condition. We anticipate PWA will demonstrate significantly better comprehension when presented solely with nouns and verbs, and that no significant differences in comprehension will be noted between the full transcript and no key wording conditions. We also expect that PWA will visually attend more to the text during the noun and verb condition than the full transcription condition.



Communication sciences and disorders