Date of Graduation

Spring 2012


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Alana Mantie-Kozlowski


expression, language, Alzheimer's, dementia, photographs, stimuli

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


The objective of this study was to determine if generic photographs elicit more detailed and complex language than the language elicited by personal photographs. The present study was replicated and modified from a study by Astell, Ellis, Alm, Dye, and Gowans (2010) which suggested that personal photos acted as a test for people with dementia, and generic photos are better suited for sharing stories and social reminiscence. Four healthy adult participants were matched with four participants with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's. Matches were based on age and sex. Participants in this study were shown six personal photographs and six generic photographs, and were asked to "Tell me everything this picture makes you think about” regarding each photo. Responses were analyzed in relation to number of utterances, number of words, number of different words, type-token ratio, and informational units. It was found that a majority of participants with dementia and healthy aging adults responded to personal photographs with more vocabulary diversity and more informational units.


© Samantha Lynn Weatherford

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