Reminder: Gesture in Aphasia event 12th of July

Dear ARG members,

We will be holding our next CSLIR ARG event on Thursday the 12th of July from 3-5pm at Chandler House, UCL.

The event will be themed around gesture in aphasia and we have two exciting speakers lined up:

  • Anna Krasoń, PhD candidate (from the Language and Cognition Lab, Experimental Psychology, UCL) with a talk titled:

“Multimodal effects on comprehension in left hemisphere stroke”

Face-to-face communication is multimodal in nature, comprising speech as well as co-speech gestures, and speech and gesture share large portions of a left-lateralized neuroanatomic network.  Yet studies of language or gesture are typically performed in isolation. Furthermore, most research informing the rehabilitation of language disorders has not taken into account the multimodal information accompanying speech, and studies of limb apraxia (in which gesture comprehension deficits play a prominent role), have rarely considered the influence of language.  Consequently, there is limited understanding of the factors that modulate the effects of gestural input on speech comprehension (or the effects of speech on gesture comprehension), the clinical characteristics of the individuals who may benefit from multimodal information (or, potentially, be adversely affected), or which brain regions play critical roles in multimodal gain or disruption. To explore the lesion, cognitive, and psycholinguistic characteristics of patients who benefit from (or are disrupted by) congruent or incongruent speech and gesture, we investigated aphasic and apraxic patients’ comprehension of audiovisual speech, gesture and speech/gesture combinations. Finally, we obtained research-quality MRI scans and performed Support Vector Regression-Lesion Symptom Mapping (SVR-LSM) to assess the brain regions that, when lesioned, were associated with abnormally large gains or disruptions.

  • Ana Murteira , PhD candidate (from the Department of Cognitive Science, Macquarie University, Australia) with a talk titled:

Can gesture observation help people with aphasia name actions?

In aphasia research, it has been suggested that gesture can play a role in the treatment of naming impairments (e.g., Rose, 2006), but the outcomes from gesture-based treatments are mixed. Compared to research on verbal treatments for word retrieval (e.g., Nickels, 2002), investigation into the mechanisms underpinning gesture-based treatments is still sparse. Importantly, in all gesture-based treatment studies, people with aphasia have been requested to produce a gesture. This leaves open questions about what specific contribution gesture makes to word retrieval processes and whether gesture observation alone (without production) can influence naming.

Our research aims to explore the mechanisms by which gesture influences verb retrieval in both non-brain impaired speakers and people with aphasia. In this talk, I will report a study that investigated the effect of gesture observation on action-picture naming in people with aphasia. Firstly, we compared naming performance when action pictures were preceded by the observation of congruent gestures, unrelated gesture or no gesture. Secondly, we considered possible mechanisms for gestural cueing by relating the findings to the participant’s individual assessment. The clinical implications of the results will be discussed.


And as always, there will be plenty of opportunities for networking!

Get your free Eventbrite tickets here:

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Anna, Mickey and Lucie





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