The Effects Of Heightened Emotion On The Verbal Fluency Of An Adult With Non-Fluent Aphasia And Apraxia Of Speech: A Pilot Study

Date of Graduation

Summer 2004


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Lynette Goldberg


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of heightened emotional content on narrative verbal fluency and expressive competence in a person with non-fluent aphasia and AOS. Four three-minute videoclips, one from each of four videotapes, served as emotionally heightened (N=2) and emotionally neutral (N=2) stimuli. Multiple components of verbal fluency were examined. Three nonverbal strategies--the use of gesture, laughter, and nonverbal vocalizations--were also documented. A 52-year-old male diagnosed with Broca's aphasia and AOS served as the experimental participant to pilot test the methodology. Two control participants with no neurological impairment provided comparative data. Under the conditions of heightened emotional content, the experimental participant differed from the control participants in his longer narrative, increased number of words, number of filled pauses, and gestures, and length of silent pauses. The following conclusions were drawn: (1) heightened emotional content can result in changes in narrative verbal fluency and expressive competency in a person with non-fluent aphasia and AOS, (2) the definition of narrative verbal fluency for a person with non-fluent aphasia and AOS may need to be reconsidered, (3) nonverbal strategies need to be included in any evaluation of the expressive competence of a speaker with non-fluent aphasia and AOS, and (4) including speech tasks with heightened emotional content may assist in determining whether the non-fluent aphasia or AOS is the primary factor in a speaker's expressive difficulties.


heightened emotional content, verbal fluency, non-fluent aphasia, laughter, gesture, nonverbal vocalizations

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


© Pauline Muhoho