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Prosem Lecture: Assessing and Analyzing Connected Speech in Aphasia and its Clinical Implications
September 19 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Brielle C. Stark, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences
and core faculty in Program in Neuroscience at Indiana University Bloomington
Topic: Assessing and Analyzing Connected Speech in Aphasia and its Clinical Implications
Spoken discourse – which I will define, for the purposes of this talk, as monologic connected speech – is difficult to assess and therefore treat in aphasia because of the complex cognitive processes involved, including language structure and use but also higher cognitive abilities such as attention and executive function. There are several benefits to acquiring and analyzing discourse in research and clinically, the most prominent of which is that doing so is a highly efficient and robust means of characterizing language ability. For example, analyzing discourse can streamline assessment time by enabling simultaneous analysis across language structure (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics) and dimensions of use (form, content, context). Further, assessment of discourse may be the most sensitive means of demonstrating language impairments in the most mild forms of aphasia, and therefore be a critical evidence point for providing continued clinical services to these individuals. Presently, because of a variety of barriers, assessing and analyzing aphasic discourse is not the standard in clinical or research practice. In this talk, I will detail my research that aims to improve the field’s investigation of aphasic discourse and to improve discourse assessment and analysis more broadly.
This work has been partially supported thanks to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation New Investigator Award. Dr. Stark’s general research program has also been sponsored by the National Institutes of Health NIDCD, and National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.