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Features of aphasic gesturing – An exploratory study of features in gestures produced by persons with and without aphasia

Journal article
Authors Elisabeth Ahlsén
Anneli Schwarz
Published in Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics
Volume 27
Issue 10-11
Pages 823-836
ISSN 0269-9206
Publication year 2013
Published at Centre of Interdisciplinary Research/Cognition/Information. SSKKII (2010-)
Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 823-836
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.3109/02699206.2013.81...
Keywords Aphasia, gesture, word finding
Subject categories Other Medical Sciences, Languages and Literature

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to see how features of gestures produced by persons with aphasia (PWA) are affected and to relate the findings to possible underlying factors. Spontaneous gestures were studied in two contexts: (i) associated with the production of nouns and verbs and (ii) in relation to word finding or production difficulties. The method involved assembling two datasets of co-speech gestures, produced by PWA and by persons without aphasia and to code the gestures for a number of features of expression and content. Features that were affected in the Aphasia dataset were gaze, head movements, hand use and semantic features. The results point to possibly converging explanations, such as generally lower semantic complexity as a direct effect of the aphasia, more cognitive effort and/or a greater dependence on one-hand gestures leading more indirectly to increased gaze aversion, more head shakes and lower complexity in gestures in PWA.

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