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Retraining Syntactic Structures via Script Training in Progressive Aphasia: Evidence for Implicit Learning in Agrammatism

EasyChair Preprint no. 6530

4 pagesDate: September 1, 2021


Studies have documented the benefits of script training for functional communication in aphasia, but few have examined whether script training can remediate underlying linguistic deficits. Repeated script practice may facilitate structural priming and increased usage of practiced syntactic structures over time. We examined the effects of script training with embedded syntactic targets on the ability of participants with progressive agrammatic aphasia to accurately produce complex syntactic structures in constrained tasks and spontaneous speech. 

Three participants with progressive agrammatism participated (n=2 with nonfluent/agrammatic primary progressive aphasia, or nfvPPA; n=1 with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia with agrammatism). Target syntactic structures were embedded into six personally relevant scripts. Twice weekly therapy sessions (total duration of six weeks) targeted memorization and conversational usage of scripts, complemented by 30 minutes of daily unison script production practice with a video model. No explicit training of syntactic structures was provided. Syntax production probes were administered at pre- and post-treatment for each target structure. Spontaneous speech samples were collected at each time point, and frequency of occurrence in the samples for each target structure was calculated. 

Production of correct, intelligible scripted words for each trained topic improved with treatment. Performance on structured syntax probes improved significantly for one of two structures for each nfvPPA participant, and production of target structures in spontaneous speech increased for all but one target structure across participants. Findings support the utility of implicit modes of training for syntax production in agrammatic progressive aphasia, consistent with evidence of implicit learning and positive effects of implicit priming in treatment for stroke-induced agrammatic aphasia.

Keyphrases: agrammatism, implicit learning, script training, structural priming

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Lisa Wauters and Eduardo Europa and Gary Robinaugh and Kristin Schaffer and Maya Henry},
  title = {Retraining Syntactic Structures via Script Training in Progressive Aphasia: Evidence for Implicit Learning in Agrammatism},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 6530},

  year = {EasyChair, 2021}}
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