Attention and Other Cognitive Deficits in Aphasia: Presence and Relation to Language and Communication Measures
ABSTRACT This study was designed to further elucidate the relationship between cognition and aphasia, with a focus on attention. It was hypothesized that individuals with aphasia would display variable deficit patterns on tests of attention and other cognitive functions and that their attention deficits, particularly those of complex attention functions, would be related to their language and communication status.
A group of individuals with varying types and severity of aphasia and a group of age- and education-matched adults with no brain damage completed tests of attention, short-term and working memory, and executive functioning.
Overall, the group with aphasia performed significantly more poorly than the control group on the cognitive measures but displayed variability in the presence, types, and severity of their attention and other cognitive deficits. Correlational and regression analyses yielded significant relations between participants' attention deficits and their language and communication status.
The findings accorded well with prior research identifying (a) attention and other cognitive deficits in most but not all individuals with aphasia; (b) heterogeneity in the types and severity of attention and other cognitive symptoms among individuals with cognitive impairments; and (c) potent associations among attention, language, and other cognitive domains. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed.
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ABSTRACT: Numerous authors report that people with aphasia have greater difficulty allocating attention than people without neurological disorders. Studying how attention deficits contribute to language deficits is important. However, existing methods for indexing attention allocation in people with aphasia pose serious methodological challenges. Eye-tracking methods have great potential to address such challenges. We developed and assessed the validity of a new dual-task method incorporating eye tracking to assess attention allocation. Twenty-six adults with aphasia and 33 control participants completed auditory sentence comprehension and visual search tasks. To test whether the new method validly indexes well-documented patterns in attention allocation, demands were manipulated by varying task complexity in single- and dual-task conditions. Differences in attention allocation were indexed via eye-tracking measures. For all participants significant increases in attention allocation demands were observed from single- to dual-task conditions and from simple to complex stimuli. Individuals with aphasia had greater difficulty allocating attention with greater task demands. Relationships between eye-tracking indices of comprehension during single and dual tasks and standardized testing were examined. Results support the validity of the novel eye-tracking method for assessing attention allocation in people with and without aphasia. Clinical and research implications are discussed. Readers will be able to: (1) summarize the nature of dual-task paradigms, (2) identify shortcomings of existing dual-task measures of attention allocation for application to people with aphasia, (3) describe how eye-tracking measures may be recorded and analyzed to reflect differences in attention allocation across conditions, and (4) summarize potential clinical applications for eye-tracking measures of attention allocation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Journal of Communication Disorders 04/2015; 55. DOI:10.1016/j.jcomdis.2015.01.005 · 1.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background: Making a decision is a cognitive task that requires the use of cognitive functions such as attention, memory, language, and executive function. Researchers have found people with cognitive deficits perform worse than healthy controls on experimental measures of decision-making. Researchers have also shown that persons with aphasia (PWA) may have deficits in the cognitive functions implicated in rational decision-making. Aims: In this paper, we will discuss the cognitive processes associated with decision-making by examining decision-making abilities in populations with cognitive deficits. Then we will discuss cognitive functions within the dual-process theory of decision-making, and describe the way(s) in which these processes may be impaired in PWA. We will also present a theoretical model of cognitive processes involved in decision-making and discuss the potential clinical implications of cognitive impairments on decision-making in PWA. Main contribution: This paper provides a theoretical foundation to support future discussions and investigations of decision-making in PWA. Conclusions: Making a rational decision may be more challenging for PWA, given the possibility of concomitant cognitive impairments. Future research is needed to validate or refute the theoretical synthesis presented in this paper. This could be accomplished through a variety of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research studies.Aphasiology 05/2015; DOI:10.1080/02687038.2015.1049584 · 1.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study tested whether people with aphasia (PWAs) show an impaired ability to process rhythm, both in terms of perception and production.Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research 09/2014; DOI:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-L-13-0309 · 1.93 Impact Factor