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Semantic Feature Analysis (DeLong et al., 2015)

posted on 01.11.2015, 00:00 by Catharine DeLong, Christina Nessler, Sandra Wright, Julie Wambaugh
Purpose The purpose of this investigation was to systematically examine outcomes associated with Semantic feature analysis, which is an established treatment for word-retrieval deficits in aphasia. Attributes of the experimental design and stimuli were manipulated to evaluate generalized naming of semantically related and unrelated items. In addition, the study was designed to examine changes in production of semantic information.
Method Semantic feature analysis was applied in the context of multiple-baseline designs with 5 persons with chronic aphasia. Experimental items were controlled for semantic category membership, number of naming attempts, and provision of item names. Acquisition, generalization, and maintenance effects were measured in probes of naming performance. Production of semantic information was also measured in response to experimental items and in discourse tasks.
Results Treatment was associated with systematic increases in naming of trained items for 4 of the 5 participants. Positive generalization to untrained exemplars of trained categories was found for repeatedly exposed items but not for limited-exposure items. Slight increases in production of semantic content were observed.
Conclusion Repeated attempts to name untreated items appeared to play a role in generalization. Provision of the names of untrained items may have enhanced generalized responding for 2 participants.


This research was supported by Merit Review Award # RX-000363-01A1 and Research Career Scientist Award #23727 from the United States (U.S.) Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service. The contents do not represent the views of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government. NCT #01483807. Thanks are extended to Kelly Eatchel, Jessica Brunsvold, Dallin Bailey, Shannon Mauszycki, and Lisa Milman for their assistance with this project.