Investigating the origin of nonfluency in aphasia: A path modeling approach to neuropsychology

Nazbanou Nozari, Yasmeen Faroqi-Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A major challenge in understanding the origin of clinical symptoms in neuropsychological impairments is capturing the complexity of the underlying cognitive structure. This paper presents a practical guide to path modeling, a statistical approach that is well-suited for modeling multivariate outcomes with a multi-factorial origin. We discuss a step-by-step application of such a model to the problem of nonfluency in aphasia. Individuals with aphasia are often classified into fluent and nonfluent groups for both clinical and research purposes, but despite a large body of research on the topic, the origin of nonfluency remains obscure. We propose a model of nonfluency inspired by the psycholinguistic approach to sentence production, review several bodies of work that have independently suggested a relationship between fluency and various elements in this model, and implement it using path modeling on data from 112 individuals with aphasia from the AphasiaBank. The results show that word production, comprehension, and working memory deficits all contribute to nonfluency, in addition to syntactic impairment which has a strong and direct impact on fluency. More generally, we demonstrate that a path model is an excellent tool for exploring complex neuropsychological symptoms such as nonfluency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-135
Number of pages17
JournalCortex
Volume95
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

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Keywords

  • Agrammatism
  • AphasiaBank
  • Nonfluent aphasia
  • Path model
  • Speech fluency
  • Structural equation model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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