posted on 2021-05-25, 18:43authored byBrielle C. Stark, Caroline Cofoid
Purpose: In persons living with aphasia, we will explore the relationship between iconic gesture production during spontaneous speech and discourse task, spoken language, and demographic information.
Method: Employing the AphasiaBank database, we coded iconic gestures in 75 speakers with aphasia during two spoken discourse tasks: a procedural narrative, which involved participants telling the experimenter how to make a sandwich (“Sandwich”), and a picture sequence narrative, which had participants describe the picture sequence to the experimenter (“Window”). Forty-three produced a gesture during both tasks, and we further evaluate data from this subgroup as a more direct comparison between tasks.
Results: More iconic gestures, at a higher rate, were produced during the procedural narrative. For both tasks, there was a relationship between iconic gesture rate, modeled as iconic gestures per word, and metrics of language dysfluency extracted from the discourse task as well as a metric of fluency extracted from a standardized battery. Iconic gesture production was correlated with aphasia duration, which was driven by performance during only a single task (Window), but not with other demographic metrics, such as aphasia severity or age. We also provide preliminary evidence for task differences shown through the lens of two types of iconic gestures.
Conclusions: While speech-language pathologists have utilized gesture in therapy for poststroke aphasia, due to its possible facilitatory role in spoken language, there has been considerably less work in understanding how gesture differs across naturalistic tasks and how we can best utilize this information to better assess gesture in aphasia and improve multimodal treatment for aphasia. Furthermore, our results contribute to gesture theory, particularly, about the role of gesture across naturalistic tasks and its relationship with spoken language.
Supplemental Material S1. Iconic gesture examples from the gesture coding, for the Window task, and for the Sandwich task, demonstrating a variety of gesture forms used.
Supplemental Material S2. Descriptive statistics of gesture type frequency for all gesture types (i.e., iconic, emblem, concrete deictic, and number) collected as a part of this study in N = 75 participants.
Supplemental Material S3. Correlation table between demographic information, language information extracted from each discourse task, and iconic gestures (collapsed across subtypes; for frequency and rate) in N = 75 subjects.
Supplemental Material S4. Correlation table between demographic information, language information extracted from each discourse task, and iconic gestures (collapsed across subtypes; for frequency and rate) in N = 43 subjects (subjects who gestured on both tasks).
Stark, B. C., & Cofoid, C. (2021). Task-specific iconic gesturing during spoken discourse in aphasia. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2021_AJSLP-20-00271
Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: Select Papers From the 50th Clinical Aphasiology Conference.