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1.  Overt use of a tactile-kinesthetic strategy shifts to covert processing in rehabilitation of letter-by-letter reading 
Aphasiology  2010;24(11):1424-1442.
Letter-by-letter readers identify each letter of the word they are reading serially in left to right order before recognizing the word. When their letter naming is also impaired, letter-by-letter reading is inaccurate and can render even single word reading very poor. Tactile and/or kinesthetic strategies have been reported to improve reading in these patients, but only under certain conditions or for a limited set of stimuli.
The primary aim of the current study was to determine whether a tactile/kinesthetic treatment could significantly improve reading specifically under normal reading conditions, i.e. reading untrained words presented in free vision and read without overt use of the strategy.
Methods & Procedures
Three chronic letter-by-letter readers participated in a tactile/kinesthetic treatment aimed at first improving letter naming accuracy (phase 1) and then letter-by-letter reading speed (phase 2). In a multiple case series design, accuracy and speed of reading untrained words without overt use of the trained tactile/kinesthetic strategy was assessed before phase 1, after phase 1 and again after phase 2.
Outcomes & Results
All three patients significantly improved both their speed and accuracy reading untrained words without overt use of the trained tactile/kinesthetic strategy. All three patients required the additional practice in phase 2 to achieve significant improvement. Treatment did not target sentence level reading, yet two of the three patients became so adept that they could read entire sentences.
This study replicates previous findings on the efficacy of tactile/kinesthetic treatment for letter-by-letter readers with poor letter naming. It further demonstrates that this treatment can alter cognitive processing such that words never specifically trained can be read in free vision without overtly using the trained strategy. The data suggest that an important element in achieving this level of generalization is continuing training beyond the point of initial mastery (i.e. accurate letter naming).
PMCID: PMC3002229  PMID: 21170161
aphasia; cognitive rehabilitation; Speech-Language Pathology; pure alexia; letter-by-letter reading; generalization
2.  Repetition priming in oral text reading: a therapeutic strategy for phonologic text alexia 
Aphasiology  2009;23(6):659-675.
Phonologic text alexia (PhTA) is a reading disorder in which reading of pseudowords is impaired, but reading of real words is impaired only when reading text. Oral reading accuracy remains well preserved when words are presented individually, but when presented in text the part-of-speech effect that is often seen in phonologic alexia (PhA) emerges.
To determine whether repetition priming could strengthen and/or maintain the activation of words during text reading.
Methods & Procedures
We trained NYR, a patient with PhTA, to use a strategy, Sentence Building, designed to improve accuracy of reading words in text. The strategy required NYR to first read the initial word, and then build up the sentence by adding on sequential words, in a step-wise manner, utilizing the benefits of repetition priming to enhance accuracy.
Outcomes & Results
When using the strategy, NYR displayed improved accuracy not only for sentences she practiced using the strategy, but unpracticed sentences as well. Additionally, NYR performed better on a test of comprehension when using the strategy, as compared to without the strategy.
In light of research linking repetition priming to increased neural processing efficiency, our results suggest that use of this compensatory strategy improves reading accuracy and comprehension by temporarily boosting phonologic activation levels.
PMCID: PMC2906786  PMID: 20664804
phonologic text alexia; repetition priming; aphasia; alexia; rehabilitation
3.  A patient with phonologic alexia can learn to read "much" from "mud pies" 
Neuropsychologia  2008;46(10):2515-2523.
People with phonologic alexia often have difficulty reading functors and verbs, in addition to pseudowords. Friedman et al (2002) reported a successful treatment for phonologic alexia that paired problematic functors and verbs with easily read relays that were homophonous nouns (e.g. "be" paired with "bee"). The current study evaluates the efficacy of pairing problematic grammatical words with relays that share initial phonemes, but vary in the relationship of their final phonemes. Results showed that reading of target grammatical words improved to criterion level (90% accuracy over two consecutive probes) in all experimental conditions with shared phonology, but remained far below criterion level in control conditions. There was a significant correlation between degree of phonologic relatedness and error rate. Maintenance of the treatment effect was poor as assessed by traditional measurement, however a dramatic savings during relearning was demonstrated during a subsequent treatment phase. The finding that reading can be re-organized by pairing target words not only with homophones, but with other phonologically related relays, suggests that this approach could be applied to a wide corpus of words and, therefore, potentially be of great use clinically. We suggest, within a connectionist account, that the treatment effect results from relays priming the initial phonologic units of the targets.
PMCID: PMC2536527  PMID: 18513760
aphasia; treatment; maintenance; savings of learning; phonologic priming

Results 1-3 (3)