Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Research improves understanding of speech disorder

MEDIA RELEASE

17 December 2013

Award-winning research improves understanding of speech disorder


Click for big version.

Dr Caroline Wilshire (left) and Paula Speer.

A PhD candidate from Victoria University of Wellington has won an award for her research in the field of aphasia research and treatment.

Paula Speer from Germany was one of five people to receive the biannual Gesellschaft für Aphasieforschung und Behandlung (Society for Aphasia Research and Treatment) prize for outstanding work in the field by young researchers.

Ms Speer has been researching nonfluent aphasia, a language disorder that prevents people from organising words into sentences and speaking fluently after they have had a stroke. Her research has found that stroke survivors with the disorder need to choose common words early on in a sentence and avoid ones that are too similar in order to construct accurate sentences. Delays and confusion occurred when they tried to use similar—or semantically related—words in the same sentence, such as king and queen (two people) or bear and dog (two animals).

Ms Speer breaks from tradition by focusing on the word content of speech, rather than grammatical structure. Her research builds on the work of her supervisor Dr Carolyn Wilshire, Senior Lecturer in Victoria’s School of Psychology, which looked at single word production of people with nonfluent aphasia.

“Word content isn’t an area that has received a lot of attention, so in a sense I am going against the norm,” says Ms Speer.

“But it’s been very rewarding because I’ve gained a lot of clues into what’s an increasingly common language disorder.”

Paula designed a series of experiments to explore how people with nonfluent aphasia use words to construct spoken sentences. She also used brain scans of stroke survivors to identify the parts of the brain most strongly associated with the condition.

Dr Wilshire says Ms Speer’s research is a world first and reveals exciting new insights into how the disorder might be treated in the future.

“These findings help explain why people with the disorder have such difficulty producing longer utterances,” she says.

Ms Speer hopes her findings will help improve the way people with nonfluent aphasia are treated in the future and give speech language therapists and specialists new ideas about the best technology and treatments to use in rehabilitation.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Starts Talks On Tougher Rules For Property Speculators

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is stepping up preparations to restrict lending to residential property investors as it watches house prices, particularly in Auckland, continue to rise strongly. More>>

ALSO:

Research: ‘Ageing Well’ Science Challenge Launched

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today launched the Ageing Well National Science Challenge, confirming initial funding of $14.6 million. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Govt Resisting Pressure To Pump More Cash Into Solid Energy

Prime Minister John Key says it is “not the government’s preferred option” to make a fresh capital injection into the troubled state-owned coal miner, Solid Energy, but dodged journalists’ questions at his weekly press conference on whether that might prove necessary... More>>

ALSO:

Lagest Ever Privacy Breach Award: NZCU Baywide Accepts “Severe” Censure In Cake Case

NZCU Baywide says that once it was found to have committed a breach of a former staff member’s privacy, it had attempted to resolve the matter... the censure and remedies for its actions taken almost three years ago are “severe” but accepted, and will hopefully draw a line under the matter. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: PayPal Stops Processing Mega Payments; NZX Listing Still On

PayPal has ceased processing payments for Mega, the file storage and encryption firm looking to join the New Zealand stock market via a reverse listing of TRS Investments, amid claims it is not a legitimate cloud storage service. More>>

ALSO:

Housing Policy: Auckland Densification As Popular As Ebola, English Says

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland’s housing were “about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola” would be. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news