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

 

Finance: Major Campaign To End "Gross Overtaxation Of Savings"

The campaign – which includes a special web site through which New Zealanders can e-mail their own and other MPs and party leaders – is backed by Age Concern, Consumer NZ, the Financial Services Council and the Taxpayers’ Union. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Leighton-Led WGP To Build, Manage Transmission Gully

The Wellington Gateway Partnership, led by a unit of ASX-listed Leighton Holdings, has won the $1 billion contract to build the Transmission Gully road north of Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Gareth Morgan: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – Revisited

Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation... They found that the fresh water policy was a bit murkier than the Environment Minister let on. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. 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