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Noun and verb processing in aphasia and healthy aging: Online behavioural and ERP investigations

Meitanis, Vanessa; (2021) Noun and verb processing in aphasia and healthy aging: Online behavioural and ERP investigations. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Nouns, verbs and function words are reported to be differentially impaired in individuals with aphasia. However, the behavioural evidence of selective word class impairments relies heavily on observations from single word production or offline comprehension studies. This thesis applied online measures to probe noun and verb input processing in individuals with aphasia and in healthy aging. Experiments 1, 2 and 3 employed an online reaction time task (word-monitoring) to investigate differential processing of noun (NP) and verb phrases (VP) in three different conditions, 1) phrase structure violations (much/*many milk), 2) premodification (Tom kicked vs Tom should have kicked) and 3) phrase frequency (high: asked for directions; low: looked for directions). Experiment 1 was conducted with neurotypical younger and older adults to explore age effects in language processing using a word-monitoring task (WMT), and to establish normative performance. The results showed that both groups were equally sensitive to NP and VP manipulations, although older adults were more disrupted by phrase structure violations. Experiment 2 employed the WMT with a group of individuals with aphasia, while Experiment 3 followed up on the group findings by examining single case evidence for NP/VP dissociations in two individuals with severe impairments, two agrammatic and one anomic individual. Together, the findings from the group and individual case analyses indicated that noun/verb dissociations are absent in input processing, while also showing residual sensitivity to function words in the form of verb premodifiers. However, there is some evidence at the individual level, that more severely impaired individuals have greater difficulties processing nouns relative to verbs. In the final experiment with neurotypical younger and older adults, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded in responses to verbs in facilitatory contexts and ungrammatical sentences. The findings revealed no age-related changes in electrophysiological responses to verbs in both contexts.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Noun and verb processing in aphasia and healthy aging: Online behavioural and ERP investigations
Event: UCL
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10126095
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