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Effects of emotions on naming in aphasia (Harmon et al., 2022)

journal contribution
posted on 11.02.2022, 00:35 authored by Tyson G. Harmon, Courtney Nielsen, Corinne Loveridge, Camille Williams
Purpose: The purpose of the study is to investigate how emotional arousal and valence affect confrontational naming accuracy and response time (RT) in people with mild-to-moderate aphasia compared with adults without aphasia. We hypothesized that negative and positive emotions would facilitate naming for people with aphasia (PWA) but lead to slower responses for adults with no aphasia.
Method: Eight participants with mild-to-moderate aphasia, 15 older adults (OAs), and 17 young adults (YAs) completed a confrontational naming task across three conditions (positive, negative, and neutral) in an ABA (where A = neutral and B = negative) case series design. Immediately following each naming condition, participants self-reported their perceived arousal and pleasure. Accuracy and RT were measured and compared.
Results: As expected, PWA performed significantly less accurately and with longer RTs than both YA and OA groups across all conditions. However, opposite our hypothesis for the aphasia group, the negative condition resulted in decreased accuracy for the aphasia and the OA group and increased RT across all groups. No statistically significant differences were found between the positive and any other condition. Participants with aphasia who demonstrated an effect in the negative condition were observed to produce a larger proportion of semantically related errors than any other error types.
Conclusions: Findings suggest that strong negative emotions can interfere with semantic–lexical processing by diverting attentional resources to emotion regulation. Both clinicians and researchers should be aware of the potential influence of negative stimuli and negative emotional states on language performance for PWA, and these effects should be disentangled in future research. Further research should also be conducted with a larger number of participants with aphasia across a broader range of severity to replicate and extend findings.

Supplemental Material S1. Average accuracy across conditions for individual participants with aphasia.

Supplemental Material S2. Average response time across conditions for individual participants with aphasia.

Supplemental Material S3. Average accuracy across conditions for individual older adult control participants.

Supplemental Material S4. Average response time across conditions for individual older adult control participants.

Supplemental Material S5. Frequency (proportion) of errors produced by each participant with aphasia across five experimental conditions.

Harmon, T. G., Nielsen, C., Loveridge, C., & Williams, C. (2022). Effects of positive and negative emotions on picture naming for people with mild-to-moderate aphasia: A preliminary investigation. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2021_JSLHR-21-00190

Funding

This work was supported by internal funding from the Brigham Young University McKay School of Education. Financial support for this work was provided by the David O. McKay School of Education.

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