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Verb Network Strengthening Treatment delivered in-person and via teletherapy

Word retrieval is difficult for all persons with aphasia and can affect the ability for a person to convey his or her ideas, thoughts or emotion. Verb Network Strengthening Treatment (VNeST) is an aphasia treatment that aims to improve word retrieval in sentence and discourse production in persons with aphasia. Previous research has shown improvements to single words, sentences and/discourse in persons with aphasia who received VNeST in person (e.g., Edmonds & Babb, 2011; Edmonds Mammino, & Ojeda, 2014; Edmonds, Obermeyer, & Kernan, 2015; Edmonds, Nadeau, & Kiran, 2009), in (Korean Kwag, Sung, Kim, & Choen, 2014) and via teletherapy with integration of typing within treatment (Furnas & Edmonds, 2011). The current study provides VNeST to persons with aphasia and works on improving word production in speech and in typing on a computer. Participants also receive treatment in-person with a clinician or via the teletherapy with a clinician. This study aims to provide more information about the effect of VNeST on spoken and written sentences and discourse.

If you are interested in learning more about participation in our research, email us at aphasialab@tc.columbia.edu

Attentive Reading with Constrained Summarization-Written in People with Mild Aphasia

People with mild Aphasia often struggle to regain independence. This goal requires high-level competence in spoken and written language; however, there is a shortage of evidence-based treatments that target discourse production in people with aphasia. The ARCS-W project investigates the efficacy of a newly developed treatment, Attentive Reading with Constrained Summarization-Written (ARCS-W) in people with mild aphasia. We developed ARCS-W from Attentive Reading with Constrained Summarization (ARCS) (Edmonds & Rogalski, 2008). ARCS targets spoken discourse and the underlying cognitive components of language. ARCS-W is a novel combination of written and spoken language at the discourse level that maintains an emphasis on the cognitive skills required for discourse production. Written discourse also emphasizes error detection and self-monitoring, providing greater opportunity to improve cognitive linguistic skills. ARCS-W fills a gap in clinical treatment research of text writing since the majority of writing treatment for PWA focus on word level written expression. While these treatments are essential, they often fail to meet the needs of people with mild aphasia who seek to improve their written language at the discourse level. If you are interested in learning more about participation in our research, email us at aphasialab@tc.columbia.edu.

Modality differences between written and spoken story retelling in healthy older adults.

Story retelling is frequently used to measure spoken language. It differs from other forms of discourse by requiring the speaker to synthesize information, retain story elements in temporal order, retrieve elements from memory and summarize them linguistically (Doyle et al., 1998). The Discourse Comprehension Test (DCT) was originally created to examine discourse comprehension for brain-damaged adults (Brookshire & Nicholas, 1993). It has also been implemented as a measure of spoken story retelling in people with aphasia and in non-brain damaged adults (Doyle et al., 2000; McNeil et al., 2001). The stimuli from DCT has been used in research to create discourse elicitation probes based on standardized stimuli (Doyle, et al., 1998), create parallel forms of the story retelling task (Doyle, et al., 2000) and to validate the information unit measure (McNeil, et al., 2001).

Although DCT has been used to examine the spoken story retelling ability of healthy older adults and people with aphasia, it has not been used as a measure of writing skills in healthy older adults. This information will provide insight into the modality differences between spoken and written discourse in normal adults, which can provide comparative data for persons with aphasia (our long term goal). The purpose of this study is to determine if and to what extent modality differences exist between spoken and written retellings of the story stimuli of the DCT in healthy adults.

If you are interested in learning more about participation in our research, email us at aphasialab@tc.columbia.edu.

Naming in Spanish-English Bilingual Speakers

There is a lack of testing materials for people with bilingual aphasia (bilingual individuals with aphasia in both languages). In order to develop assessment materials, it is critical to have information about how bilinguals without aphasia use both languages. This study builds on previous research that reported normative data from Spanish-English bilingual individuals in naming (Edmonds & Donovan, 2012, 2013) and in discourse (Edmonds, 2013). The current study evaluates naming and other language tasks in Spanish-English bilinguals aged 40 and older in order to add to our understanding of naming and discourse production in a variety of bilingual individuals to provide important normative information upon which to compare persons with Spanish-English bilingual aphasia.

If you are interested in learning more about participation in our research, email us at aphasialab@tc.columbia.edu.