Speech-Language Pathology (SLP)
Rangos School of Health Sciences
Heather Leavy Rusiewicz
Elena Donoso Brown
aphasia; drawing; interdisciplinary; semantics; word retrieval
The hallmark characteristic of aphasia, word retrieval impairment, can significantly affect a person’s ability to communicate their needs and ideas. Treatment for these deficits typically focuses on either restorative or compensatory strategies. In aphasia therapy, clinicians have predominately used drawing as a compensatory strategy. Emerging evidence suggests that drawing may also have restorative effects on word retrieval impairments by providing an alternate route to accessing the semantic system (Farias, Davis, & Harrington, 2006). However, the current understanding of this theoretical relationship between the semantic system, drawing, and word retrieval abilities is limited. This study examined that relationship to further develop the field of speech-language pathology’s theoretical understanding. Ten participants with chronic aphasia completed a series of specially sequenced tasks, which measured confrontation-naming accuracy before and after drawing and a semantic feature cueing (SFC) task for target nouns. Participants significantly improved their confrontation naming accuracy when they named targets after completing SFC then drawing. Additionally, there were moderate negative relationships between semantic content present in participant drawings and drawing quality with the amount of semantic features participants produced. These results have implications for future studies that further examine the relationship between word retrieval, drawing, and semantics in people with aphasia.
Kinney, J. (2017). Drawing Conclusions about Aphasia: An Examination of the Relationship between Word Retrieval, Drawing, and Semantics (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/173