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Norms and Patient Data for a Verb-Generation Task (Kurland et al., 2014)

posted on 01.05.2014, 00:00 by Jacquie Kurland, Alisson Reber, Polly Stokes
Purpose In the current study, the authors aimed to (a) acquire a set of verb generation to picture norms; and (b) probe its utility as an outcomes measure in aphasia treatment.
Method In Phase I, the verb-generation normative sample, 50 healthy volunteers generated verbs for 218 pictures of common objects (interstimulus interval = 5 s). In Phase II, 4 persons with aphasia (PWAs) generated verbs for 60 objects (interstimulus interval = 10 s). Their stimuli consisted of objects that were (a) recently trained (for object naming; n = 20), (b) untrained (a control set; n = 20), or (c) from a set of pictures named correctly at baseline (n = 20). Verb generation was acquired twice: once 2 months into and once following a 6-month home practice program.
Results No objects elicited perfect verb agreement in the normed sample. Stimuli with the highest percent agreement were mostly artifacts and dominant verbs primary functional associates. Although not targeted in treatment or home practice, PWAs mostly improved performance in verb generation postpractice.
Conclusions A set of clinically and experimentally useful verb-generation norms was acquired for a subset of the Snodgrass and Vanderwart (1980) picture set. More cognitively demanding than confrontation naming, this task may help to fill the sizeable gap between object picture naming and propositional speech.


This research was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01DC011526, awarded to the first author. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. The authors would like to thank Michael Starr for his contributions to the study.