We investigated whether iconic words provide a processing advantage in aphasia. Iconic words have a consistent relationship between their form and meaning, in English, these are usually sound words e.g. 'bash', 'chatter', 'crunch'. We asked a group of 13 individuals with aphasia to complete four tasks (repetition, reading aloud, auditory lexical decision, written lexical decision). We compared their performance on a set of iconic and non-iconic words. We found that iconic words were responded to more accurately for some patients, and this pattern was more consistent across the group when the task tapped into the semantics-phonology link (reading aloud and auditory lexical decision). This suggests that iconicity may be a protective factor following language impairment, just as it has been shown to aid language acquisition in children.
I am a Speech & Language Therapist and Experimental Psychologist.
I research language processing in healthy adults and those with acquired language and communication difficulties as a result of neurological damage.
I complete clinical work with adults who have communication difficulties as a result of neurological impairments.
Dr. Lotte Meteyard
School of Psychology &
Clinical Language Sciences
University of Reading
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