Comparison of Fluent and Non-fluent Aphasic Patients’ Comprehension Abilities and Reaction Times for Homonym Words

Dilek Eroğlu-Uzun Ayşe Fatma Türkan Memik Yıldız

Purpose: Aphasia is an acquired language disorder that usually results from damage to the language-related areas of the brain as a result of stroke or head trauma which can affect the receptive and/or expressive language skills. There are studies showing that aphasic individuals have problems in homonymic words that cause lexical-semantic complexity. In this study, it was aimed to compare the comprehension and reaction times of individuals with fluent and non-fluent aphasia to homonyms with different grammatical categories. Method: Twenty aphasic individuals (10 non-fluent, 10 fluent) were included in the study. By selecting 20 different homonymic words with different grammatical categories - noun and verb - 40 words with different meanings were obtained. These words were used in sentences with similar syntactic properties. Audio recordings, visuals and written materials for each sentence were combined in a computer program and two separate stages were designed as [auditory] and [reading + auditory]. After receiving the stimulus, the individual with aphasia was expected to touch the screen as quickly as possible to mark the correct answer. According to the obtained data, the true / false ratios and response times of the aphasic individuals were measured. Results: Analysis showed that individuals with non-fluent aphasia were more successful in stage 2 compared to stage 1, whereas no such difference was found in fluent aphasia. At the same time, it was concluded that individuals with non-fluent aphasia were more successful in the second stage than those with fluent aphasia. In the second stage, it was concluded that individuals with non-fluent aphasia had better performance in understanding homonymic words than individuals with fluent aphasia. While non-fluent aphasic patients were similar in their scores both in verb and noun homonyms, fluent aphasic patients were better in verb homonym words compared to noun homonyms.


aphasia, acquired language disorders, auditory comprehension, homonym word, reaction time


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