A comparison of closed head injury versus aphasic subjects making association choices when shown picture stimuli

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Hare, Deborah A.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology
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As normal speaking human beings, most of us speak hundreds, even thousands of words each day and we do this without giving much thought to the act. We initiate conversation with others, and when spoken to, respond appropriately. We take our ability to communicate for granted. But, for the person with a language disorder, communicating with others can be a difficult task.There are numerous types of language disorders, but this paper is concerned with the language/cognitive impairments seen in closed head injured (CHI) and aphasic subjects. While these two types of patients have language disorders, the types of language disorder appears to be different between the two.The primary language problem noted with aphasics is a disorder of form (Holland, 1982). By disorder of form, we mean the commonly seen problems of anomia (word finding) and telegraphic speech (syntactically incorrect speech due to a CHI subjects is a disorder of use in which the individual uses irrelevant and confabulatory language. Because people with closed head injuries have been compared and occasionally treated as aphasics, speech-language pathologists have increasingly had more interaction with this population.The purpose of this paper, then, was to examine one area of language behavior as it is reflected in the CHI and aphasic subject. In this study, a picture association task was presented with the results analyzed to identify any possible differences which might help identify the two groups. This task involved a variety of skills, i.e., nonverbal language, cognitive, visual, etc., but the study focused mainly upon the language ability to make proper word associations in response to picture stimulation. The null hypothesis proposed suggested that aphasic subjects and individuals described as experiencing closed head injury responded to stimuli in a similar manner.