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Effects of Emotional Stimuli on Word Retrieval in People with Aphasia

EasyChair Preprint no. 6441

4 pagesDate: August 27, 2021


Introduction: Characteristics of stimuli (e.g., word frequency) influence the ease of word retrieval and, thus, influence language assessment and treatment design. Stimulus emotionality may also impact word retrieval in neurotypical adults (Schwen Blackett et al., 2017); however, it is unknown how emotional stimuli may affect word retrieval in people with aphasia (PWA).

Methods: 13 PWA and 13 age-matched, neurotypical controls participated in tasks presenting positive, negative, and neutral stimuli. Tasks included object picture-naming, action picture-naming, category-member generation, and verb generation. Accuracy and reaction time (RT) were measured for each trial. Generalized logistic and linear mixed-effects models were used to evaluate differences in accuracy and RT between participant groups and among tasks and valence.

Results: All planned fixed effects were included in the final model (group, task, valence, task*valence, and task*valence*group). Participants were included as a random effect. As expected, across task and valence conditions, PWA were significantly less accurate and slower than controls. PWA showed the lowest accuracy for negative trials, followed by positive and then neutral trials across tasks. Controls showed this same pattern for all tasks except object picture-naming. RT data showed that PWA and controls were slower for emotional than neutral trials, with negative trials tending to be slower than positive trials.

Conclusions: Emotional stimuli, especially negative items, produced worse naming performance than nonemotional stimuli in PWA and controls. This effect appears to be robust across naming tasks that differed by word class (nouns vs. verbs) and stimulus type (pictures vs. words). Results suggest that emotionality of stimuli is an important variable in word retrieval research and could impact clinical practice.

Keyphrases: aphasia, emotion, word retrieval

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Deena Schwen Blackett and Stacy M. Harnish and Joan C. Borod and Shari R. Speer and Xueliang Pan},
  title = {Effects of Emotional Stimuli on Word Retrieval in People with Aphasia},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 6441},

  year = {EasyChair, 2021}}
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