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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Hum. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00406

Maintenance versus transmission deficits: The effect of delay on naming performance in aphasia

  • 1Temple University, United States
  • 2Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, College of Public Health, Temple University, United States
  • 3Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, United States

We propose that deficits in lexical retrieval can involve difficulty in transmission of activation between processing levels, or difficulty in maintaining activation. In support, we present an investigation of picture naming by persons with aphasia in which the naming response is generated after a 1 second (sec) cue to respond in one condition or a 5 sec cue to respond in another. Some individuals did better after 5 secs, some did worse after 5 secs, and some were not impacted by the delay. It is suggested that better performance after 5 secs indicates a transmission deficit and that worse performance after 5 sec indicates a maintenance deficit. To support this hypothesis, we adapted the two-step semantic-phonological model of lexical retrieval (Schwartz et al., 2006) so that it can simulate the passage of time and can simulate lesions in transmission (its semantic and phonological connection strength parameters) and/or maintenance (its decay parameter). The naming error patterns after 1 and 5 secs for each participant were successfully fit to the model. Persons who did better after 5 secs were found to have low connection strength parameters, persons who did worse after 5 secs were simulated with an increased decay rate, and persons whose performance did not differ with delay were found to have lesions of both types. Some potential theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.

Keywords: short-term memory, naming, temporal processing, word retrieval, Aphasia,

Received: 19 Jul 2019; Accepted: 01 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Martin and Dell. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Nadine Martin, Temple University, Philadelphia, United States, nmartin@temple.edu