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 Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

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