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The Role of Phonological Working Memory in Narrative Production: Evidence from Case Series and Case Study Analyses of Chronic Aphasia

EasyChair Preprint no. 6286

2 pagesDate: August 13, 2021


Results from narrative production in acute stroke support a role for semantic WM in language production, with multiple regression analyses showing independent contributions for semantic, but not phonological WM, in predicting narrative measures of sentence elaboration. However, they also revealed relations between phonological WM and narrative production: a positive relationship with speech rate, and a negative relationship with proportion pronouns relative to nouns. Two hypotheses have been investigated to explain these relationships: 1) the ease of phonological retrieval at the single word level supports faster speech and rehearsal in WM tasks, and 2) separate input and output phonological WM buffers, where the output buffer supports fluent speech and phonological WM. The current study evaluates these two hypotheses in individuals with chronic aphasia.

Similar to the acute sample, words per minute showed a positive relationship with both input and output phonological WM. However, the multiple regression revealed a role for single word phonological retrieval in predicting words per minute and no independent role for input or output phonological WM. Proportion pronouns showed no correlation with output phonological WM and a positive correlation with input phonological WM, opposite that obtained the acute sample. Differences in patterns of pronoun use between samples meant results were difficult to interpret. A case study approach showed an output buffer deficit case with the predicted effects on narrative production; slower speech rate, increased use of pronouns and increased phonological errors. It may be that both single word phonological retrieval and the output buffer play a role in narrative production but in the case series approach, input and output phonological WM were highly correlated making it difficult to separate their influence.

Keyphrases: Narrative production, phonological output buffer, Phonological Retrieval, working memory

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Rachel Zahn and Randi Martin},
  title = {The Role of Phonological Working Memory in Narrative Production: Evidence from Case Series and Case Study Analyses of Chronic Aphasia},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 6286},

  year = {EasyChair, 2021}}
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