A computer-based microworld for the assessment and remediation of sentence processing deficits in aphasia.

Crerar, Maureen Alison (1991) A computer-based microworld for the assessment and remediation of sentence processing deficits in aphasia. PhD thesis, Edinburgh Napier University.

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    This thesis investigates impairments of written sentence comprehension in 14
    aphasic adults. The primary purpose of the research was to apply computer
    technology to the process of assessment, with the aim of improving diagnostic
    precision and thereby being able to offer better-targeted and more effective
    To facilitate the study of sentence processing disorders a microworld was
    developed, populated solely by animate and inanimate balls, boxes and stars.
    This medium had two major advantages over natural English. Firstly, the
    restricted vocabulary and the small set of grammatical structures used permitted
    finer control of the linguistic environment, and secondly, all the test sentences
    were fully reversible with equal plausibility. The microworld formed the basis for
    a suite of patient-controlled computer programs dedicated to the study of two
    functions: the processing of verbs and the processing of locative prepositions.
    Computerisation enabled automatic, detailed and objective data collection in
    assessment mode, freeing the observing clinician to make important
    complementary observations. In remediation mode the software externalised the
    subtasks of sentence comprehension for clinical study.
    The results of an efficacy study are reported in which the aphasic subjects were
    divided into two groups of seven and subjected to a cross-over design experiment.
    Group A received verb treatment before preposition treatment and Group B
    received the treatments in opposite order. Significant treatment effects were
    obtained which could be attributed confidently to the intervention applied and
    which included generalisation to 'real world' reading tasks. Many of the subjects
    maintained benefit of treatment after a non-treatment interval of five months.
    The thesis presents a range of new data on aphasic performances including details
    of error patterns, response latencies and susceptibility of the different sentence
    structures to treatment. In addition the aphasics are compared with 45 normal
    subjects in their computer interface operation and on a new six-module Syntax
    Screening Test. Theoretical contributions to knowledge are made in the
    establishment of the dissociability of verb and preposition processing and in the
    interpretation of the clinical observations. The microworld and software created
    have potential application in many other areas of language research.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Aphasia; sentence comprehension; linguistic impairment; microworld;
    University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Health, Life & Social Sciences > School of Health and Social Sciences
    Dewey Decimal Subjects: 600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health > 616 Diseases > 616.8 Nervous & mental disorders
    Library of Congress Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
    Item ID: 4968
    Depositing User: Mrs Lyn Gibson
    Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2012 14:53
    Last Modified: 09 Feb 2012 14:53

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