AN INVESTIGATION OF NEURAL MECHANISMS UNDERLYING VERB MORPHOLOGY DEFICITS IN APHASIA
Pifer, Madeline R
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Agrammatic aphasia is an acquired language disorder characterized by slow, non-fluent speech that include primarily content words. It is well-documented that people with agrammatism (PWA) have difficulty with production of verbs and verb morphology, but it is unknown whether these deficits occur at the single word-level, or are the result of a sentence-level impairment. The first aim of this paper is to determine the linguistic level that verb morphology impairments exist at by using magnetoencephalography (MEG) scanning to analyze neural response to two language tasks (one word-level, and one sentence-level). It has also been demonstrated that PWA benefit from a morphosemantic intervention for verb morphology deficits, but it is unknown if this therapy induces neuroplastic changes in the brain. The second aim of this paper is to determine whether or not neuroplastic changes occur after treatment, and explore the neural mechanisms by which this improvement occurs.