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Poster E49, Saturday, August 18, 3:00 – 4:45 pm, Room 2000AB

Speech compensation behavior for unexpected errors is related to language performance beyond repetition skill in aphasia

Lorelei Phillip1, Roozbeh Behroozmand1, Julius Fridriksson1;1University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina

In aphasia, deficits in sensorimotor integration have been implicated as underlying impairments in speech function. Sensorimotor integration is the means by which movements are guided by sensory information and is critical for ensuring the accuracy of those movements. Impairment of this system has been implicated in conduction aphasia in particular, namely for that population’s marked difficulty with speech repetition despite relatively spared production and comprehension. As a result, repetition tasks are often used as a measure to probe the integrity of sensorimotor mechanisms and their deficits in speech. What is less well known is the extent to which these deficits are common across aphasia types and how this manifests behaviorally in areas other than speech repetition. As a result, our goal was to determine whether there was a relationship between a behavioral correlate of sensorimotor integration and performance on a variety of language tasks. Participants performed a speech task under the altered auditory feedback (AAF) paradigm to examine their vocal compensation behavior as a marker of sensorimotor integration. During this task, participants sustained vocalizations of a speech vowel sound while their auditory feedback was randomly altered by pitch shift stimuli at +/- 100 cents. The on-line compensatory vocal motor responses to AAF were recorded and the peak compensation level for each trial was extracted and averaged across trials for each participant. Average compensatory responses were extracted separately for trials with upward and downward pitch shift stimuli. Correlation analysis was used to examine the relationship between vocal compensation behavior and the clinical measures from the Western Aphasia Battery – Revised (WAB-R) scores. A total of 15 individuals with chronic post-stroke aphasia took part in this study, 4 of whom had anomic aphasia, 7 of whom had Broca’s aphasia, and 4 of whom had conduction aphasia (mean age = 59.1 years, range = 46 – 80). Significant correlations were found between speech compensation on upward-shifted trials and spontaneous speech (r = -.635, p = .011), repetition (r = -.713, p = .003), naming (r = -.562, p = .029), and quotient (r = -.688, p = .005) scores on the WAB-R. No significant correlations were found between speech compensation on downward-shifted trials and language measures. An expected correlation was found between speech compensation behavior and speech repetition. However, our findings demonstrate a relationship between other measures of language ability including naming, a combination of discourse content and fluency, and overall aphasia severity. Not only that, this relationship is evident for individuals with a variety of aphasia types. Interestingly, these relationships were only significant for compensation on the upward-shifted trials and not for the downward-shifted trials, which could be a result of the salience of the stimulus. Further research is needed to clarify those differences and to examine sensorimotor integration deficits across aphasia types more closely.

Topic Area: Language Disorders