The traditional treatment approach to the rehabilitation of anomia in aphasia is to explicitly train individuals with aphasia in whole word naming (see Nickels, 2002, for extensive review) (often called lexica/semantic therapy). Controlled studies have shown that this approach may improve naming performance but generalization is typically very limited; that is, the knowledge gained by the patient tends to be limited to the words actually trained, and there is at best modest improvement in naming performance with untrained words. This generalization may be limited mainly to words that are semantically related to those in the training corpus (Kiran and Thompson, 2003; McNeil, 1997). The mechanisms underlying this generalization are not well understood. Because generalization can be limited with naming therapies, there currently exists no viable means of training patients on the full corpus of words (perhaps several thousand) they are likely to need in daily life, except in the most determined and capable of subjects (Basso, 2003). Two approaches might be taken to solving this problem: (1) develop cost effective means for providing training on several thousand words; and (2) develop alternative training methods. We have developed an alternative method – called phonomotor therapy – and, in this project, we propose to continue development through a phase II clinical trial. In the context of a 2-armed randomized control trial with experimental (phonomotor) treatment versus a type of treatment that is typically delivered (lexical/semantic-based); we propose to study 80 individuals who have suffered a left hemisphere stroke and exhibit aphasia and anomia.

Not currently enrolling new participants.


Date Range: 
10/01/2013 to 09/30/2017
Funding Source: 
VA RR&D Merit Review Grant
Principal Investigator(s):