Behavioral and Neural Indices
  of Lexical Access During
   Idiom Comprehension

          Kathleen P. Brumm
           Ma...
The audience liked the wrestler that the
parish priest condemned for foul language




                   2
Outline
• Comprehension deficits in aphasia: Converging Evidence
• Goal of the project
  – Parsimonious account of comprehe...
Goal : Examine root cause(s) of
comprehension deficits in aphasia




              4
Comprehension in Aphasia
                              •Aphasia is acquired langauge
                              disorde...
Comprehension in Aphasia

      • Comprehension deficits in Broca’s aphasia across
        variety of tasks (e.g. Dickey et...
Comprehension in Aphasia

• Individuals with Broca’s aphasia show
  comprehension deficits for these non-canonical
  senten...
Off-Line Methodologies

• Assess outcome of comprehension process
        Simple: The woman dries the child with blonde ha...
On-Line Methodology:
Cross-modal priming




        Swinney et al., 1979



            9
On-Line Methodology:
        Cross-modal priming
“The audience liked the
wrestler that the parish
priest condemned* for
  ...
On-Line Methodology:
        Cross-modal priming
“The audience liked the
wrestler that the parish
priest condemned* for
  ...
Cross-modal priming




        Swinney et al., 1979



           10
Cross-modal priming

“The audience liked the
wrestler that the parish
priest condemned* for
     foul language”




      ...
Cross-modal priming

“The audience liked the
wrestler that the parish
priest condemned* for
     foul language”

         ...
Cross-modal priming

“The audience liked the
wrestler that the parish
priest condemned* for
     foul language”

         ...
Cross-modal priming

   “The audience liked the
   wrestler that the parish
   priest condemned* for
        foul language...
Comprehension in Aphasia
 The audience liked the wrestler1 that the2 parish priest
               condemned 3    for foul ...
Comprehension in Aphasia

• Complex sentences are not only comprehension deficit
  in Broca’s aphasia
• Another type of com...
Comprehension in Aphasia

• Idiom: Multi-word phrase
   • Meaning cannot usually be derived by
     understanding literal ...
Comprehension in Aphasia




           14
Comprehension in Aphasia




           14
Comprehension in Aphasia
                String-to-word matching
                (Cacciari et al., 2006; Papagno & Caporal...
Comprehension in Aphasia
                                                            String-to-word matching
             ...
Comprehension in Aphasia


 Is there a parsimonious explanation for
comprehension deficits in Broca’s aphasia?




        ...
Comprehension in Aphasia

  Goal : Examine root cause(s) of
 comprehension deficits in aphasia
    Disordered Lexical Acces...
17
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Dissertation Proposal Talk V1

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  • Read sentence out loud.
    This is an example of a complex sentence—so called because the word order is different from the canonical SVO order in English. This is an example of a sentence in which the object (wrestler) precedes the subject (priest) and the verb (condemned).
    When you heard this sentence, perhaps you had a moment of difficulty understanding it, but most likely, you were able to extract the meaning—that the priest condemned the wrestler. You probably exerted little conscious effort to do this. In fact, typical, healthy listeners are able to understand these types of sentences with little overt difficulty. It’s only when someone has a language disorder that they may have trouble understanding complex sentences like this one. In fact, evidence from individuals with language disorders (adults and children?) indicates that comprehension of complex sentences is a highly orchestrated task, with cognitive processes that occur outside the conscious awareness of the listener, and that language disorders can disrupt this process.
    The current proposal aims to examine the underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms that are disrupted in language disorder when auditory comprehension is impaired for certain elements of language, such as complex sentences like this example.

  • Mutli-methodological approach can point toward processing that is going on cognitively and neurally

  • Complex: English default SVO order is not sentence order—in this example, we see an Object-Subject-Verb Order. LOTS of evidence that sentences that deviate from “canonical” word order are more difficult to process and understand than those which follow a “canonical” (SVO in English) word order. There are many theories as to why these types of sentences are difficult for individuals with aphasia to understand....(next slide)
  • Off-line measures are taken after event of interest; tap into conscious “top-down” abilities and real-world knowledge: many different types of cognitive processing goes into conscious off-line comprehension; important in their own right
    On-line can look at isolable stages of the comprehension process, before a listener has a chance to reflect and inject conscious processing
    Will talk more about specific on-line methodology in a moment
  • Individuals with Broca’s aphasia are at chance performance on selecting appropriate picture for complex sentences, reliably correct for simpler sentences
  • In a CMLP paradigm, Participant hears auditory sentence via headphones, while seated in front of computer screen. At point of interest during the uninterrupted auditory sentence, visual “probe” word appears in center of the screen. This visual probe is semantically related to some critical word in the auditory sentence. Participant makes binary lexical decision response (yes/no for word) as fast as they can. Critical point: test during the uninterrupted sentence, and the sentence continues on after the test point.
  • In a CMLP paradigm, Participant hears auditory sentence via headphones, while seated in front of computer screen. At point of interest during the uninterrupted auditory sentence, visual “probe” word appears in center of the screen. This visual probe is semantically related to some critical word in the auditory sentence. Participant makes binary lexical decision response (yes/no for word) as fast as they can. Critical point: test during the uninterrupted sentence, and the sentence continues on after the test point.
  • CMLP based on automatic semantic priming (Meyer et al., 1975)--facilitated response to a word, due to prior semantic processing of a related word. In CMLP, the visual probe word is related to a word of interest in the auditory sentence, or in a control condition, probe word is unrelated to sentence material. We can compare lexical decision RTs between related and control trials--research has demonstrated that relatively speeded RTs to related vs. control words indicates priming, and priming in these studies acts as a marker of semantic processing of sentence material. CMLP is thus used to investigate unconscious, automatic lexical processing of material in the auditory sentence. The task is flexible enough so that probe words can be presented at various points in the auditory sentence, and we can investigate unconscious lexical processing during auditory sentence comprehension. Important to note, research indicates that participants are consciously unaware of any relationship between visual probe word and auditory sentence content.
  • CMLP based on automatic semantic priming (Meyer et al., 1975)--facilitated response to a word, due to prior semantic processing of a related word. In CMLP, the visual probe word is related to a word of interest in the auditory sentence, or in a control condition, probe word is unrelated to sentence material. We can compare lexical decision RTs between related and control trials--research has demonstrated that relatively speeded RTs to related vs. control words indicates priming, and priming in these studies acts as a marker of semantic processing of sentence material. CMLP is thus used to investigate unconscious, automatic lexical processing of material in the auditory sentence. The task is flexible enough so that probe words can be presented at various points in the auditory sentence, and we can investigate unconscious lexical processing during auditory sentence comprehension. Important to note, research indicates that participants are consciously unaware of any relationship between visual probe word and auditory sentence content.
  • CMLP based on automatic semantic priming (Meyer et al., 1975)--facilitated response to a word, due to prior semantic processing of a related word. In CMLP, the visual probe word is related to a word of interest in the auditory sentence, or in a control condition, probe word is unrelated to sentence material. We can compare lexical decision RTs between related and control trials--research has demonstrated that relatively speeded RTs to related vs. control words indicates priming, and priming in these studies acts as a marker of semantic processing of sentence material. CMLP is thus used to investigate unconscious, automatic lexical processing of material in the auditory sentence. The task is flexible enough so that probe words can be presented at various points in the auditory sentence, and we can investigate unconscious lexical processing during auditory sentence comprehension. Important to note, research indicates that participants are consciously unaware of any relationship between visual probe word and auditory sentence content.
  • CMLP based on automatic semantic priming (Meyer et al., 1975)--facilitated response to a word, due to prior semantic processing of a related word. In CMLP, the visual probe word is related to a word of interest in the auditory sentence, or in a control condition, probe word is unrelated to sentence material. We can compare lexical decision RTs between related and control trials--research has demonstrated that relatively speeded RTs to related vs. control words indicates priming, and priming in these studies acts as a marker of semantic processing of sentence material. CMLP is thus used to investigate unconscious, automatic lexical processing of material in the auditory sentence. The task is flexible enough so that probe words can be presented at various points in the auditory sentence, and we can investigate unconscious lexical processing during auditory sentence comprehension. Important to note, research indicates that participants are consciously unaware of any relationship between visual probe word and auditory sentence content.
  • Suggests that lexical access is delayed in Broca’s aphasia, due to this delay, the appropriate lexical items cannot be fed into syntactic system on right time scale, and comprehension breaks down. Note, this pattern of results implies INTACT syntax building in Broca’s aphasia, since we see re-activation of the object after the verb—same pattern as in unimpaired listeners, just on a later time scale
    This result fits well with earlier data (Swinney et al., 1989 & Prather 1997) that suggest slowed lexical access mechanisms in Broca’s aphasia, both during sentence comprehension and during single word processing
    HOWEVER, still good amount of debate about causes of sentence comprehension deficits in Broca’s aphasia
  • As mentioned earlier, complex sentence comprehension isn’t ONLY evidence of comprehension impairment in aphasia
    AND if lexical access is slowed in aphasia, we should see the effects of this during comprehension of other language items.
    Can look to other types of comprehension impairments for evidence that addresses core linguistic processing mechanisms that may be disturbed—this proposal looks specifically at idioms to examine lexical processing in aphasia.
  • Idioms are these unique entities--each word that contributes to an idiom has its own literal meaning, but the phrase as a whole can also have a literal and/or figurative (non-literal) meaning
  • Idiom comprehension deficits have been demonstrated in the literature many times for off-line tasks, consistent deficit in off-line performance
    Studies with heterogeneous populations, but frontal lobe involvement implicates worse performance
    To date, no on-line studies looking at lexical access for idiom comprehension in aphasia
  • Idiom comprehension deficits have been demonstrated in the literature many times for off-line tasks, consistent deficit in off-line performance
    Studies with heterogeneous populations, but frontal lobe involvement implicates worse performance
    To date, no on-line studies looking at lexical access for idiom comprehension in aphasia
  • Idiom comprehension deficits have been demonstrated in the literature many times for off-line tasks, consistent deficit in off-line performance
    Studies with heterogeneous populations, but frontal lobe involvement implicates worse performance
    To date, no on-line studies looking at lexical access for idiom comprehension in aphasia
  • Idiom comprehension deficits have been demonstrated in the literature many times for off-line tasks, consistent deficit in off-line performance
    Studies with heterogeneous populations, but frontal lobe involvement implicates worse performance
    To date, no on-line studies looking at lexical access for idiom comprehension in aphasia



  • Dissertation Proposal Talk V1

    1. 1. Behavioral and Neural Indices of Lexical Access During Idiom Comprehension Kathleen P. Brumm March 22, 2010 1
    2. 2. The audience liked the wrestler that the parish priest condemned for foul language 2
    3. 3. Outline • Comprehension deficits in aphasia: Converging Evidence • Goal of the project – Parsimonious account of comprehension deficits • Specific Aims – Psycholinguistic (moment-by-moment) processes – Neurolinguistic (neural architecture) – Hypotheses • Preliminary Studies • Proposed Studies and Pilot Data 3
    4. 4. Goal : Examine root cause(s) of comprehension deficits in aphasia 4
    5. 5. Comprehension in Aphasia •Aphasia is acquired langauge disorder, subsequent to stroke •Sub-types of aphasia: classified by symptoms and neural lesions •Broca’s and Wernicke’s: most commonly studied Broca’s Aphasia Wernicke’s Aphasia: •Left Inferior Frontal Lobe •Left Posterior Superior Temporal Lobe (BA44/45) (BA 22) •Expressive language deficit •Receptive Language Deficit •Receptive language deficit? 5
    6. 6. Comprehension in Aphasia • Comprehension deficits in Broca’s aphasia across variety of tasks (e.g. Dickey et al., 2006; Grodzinsky, 1995; Love & Oster, 2002; Zurif et al., 1993) – Specifically, processing and comprehension deficits for complex sentences (from Love et al., 2008) The audience liked the wrestleri that the parish priest condemned(t)i for foul language 6
    7. 7. Comprehension in Aphasia • Individuals with Broca’s aphasia show comprehension deficits for these non-canonical sentences – Both off-line (conscious interpretation; e.g. picture-sentence matching) – On-line (real-time, prior to conscious reflection) measures (e.g. Grodzinsky, 2000; Love & Oster, 2002) 7
    8. 8. Off-Line Methodologies • Assess outcome of comprehension process Simple: The woman dries the child with blonde hair Complex: The child that the woman dries has blonde hair Adapted from Love & Oster, 2002 8
    9. 9. On-Line Methodology: Cross-modal priming Swinney et al., 1979 9
    10. 10. On-Line Methodology: Cross-modal priming “The audience liked the wrestler that the parish priest condemned* for foul language” Swinney et al., 1979 9
    11. 11. On-Line Methodology: Cross-modal priming “The audience liked the wrestler that the parish priest condemned* for foul language” climber Swinney et al., 1979 9
    12. 12. Cross-modal priming Swinney et al., 1979 10
    13. 13. Cross-modal priming “The audience liked the wrestler that the parish priest condemned* for foul language” Swinney et al., 1979 10
    14. 14. Cross-modal priming “The audience liked the wrestler that the parish priest condemned* for foul language” fighter Swinney et al., 1979 10
    15. 15. Cross-modal priming “The audience liked the wrestler that the parish priest condemned* for foul language” fighter climber Swinney et al., 1979 10
    16. 16. Cross-modal priming “The audience liked the wrestler that the parish priest condemned* for foul language” fighter climber Speeded RT to related (“fighter”) relative to non- related (“climber”) = priming Swinney et al., 1979 10
    17. 17. Comprehension in Aphasia The audience liked the wrestler1 that the2 parish priest condemned 3 for foul language 4 • Unimpaired: Lexical access for an object at its offset (“wrestler”), and at offset of verb (“condemned”) • Broca’s aphasia: Lexical access not noted at offset of object or at offset of verb – Lexical access: 300ms after offset of object (“the”) and 500ms after offset of verb (“foul”) 11
    18. 18. Comprehension in Aphasia • Complex sentences are not only comprehension deficit in Broca’s aphasia • Another type of comprehension deficit: Idioms The burglar spilled the beans about the money at his mother’s house 12
    19. 19. Comprehension in Aphasia • Idiom: Multi-word phrase • Meaning cannot usually be derived by understanding literal meanings of component words (Cacciari & Tabossi, 1988) [spill] + [the] + [beans] 13
    20. 20. Comprehension in Aphasia 14
    21. 21. Comprehension in Aphasia 14
    22. 22. Comprehension in Aphasia String-to-word matching (Cacciari et al., 2006; Papagno & Caporali, 2007) To come to the hands fight finger departure cinema 14
    23. 23. Comprehension in Aphasia String-to-word matching (Cacciari et al., 2006; Papagno & Caporali, 2007) To come to the hands fight finger departure cinema Oral Idiom Definition (Papagno et al., 2004) What does it mean to String-to-picture matching “come to the hands?” (Papagno et al., 2004; 2006; Papagno & Genoni, 2004; Papagno & Caporali, 2007) To come to the hands (To fight) 14
    24. 24. Comprehension in Aphasia Is there a parsimonious explanation for comprehension deficits in Broca’s aphasia? 15
    25. 25. Comprehension in Aphasia Goal : Examine root cause(s) of comprehension deficits in aphasia Disordered Lexical Access? 16
    26. 26. 17

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