Effectiveness of contextual repetition priming treatments for anomia depends on intact access to semantics

Nadine Martin*, Ruth B. Fink, Kati Renvall, Matti Laine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Naming of two semantically impaired aphasic patients was treated with the contextual repetition priming technique, which involves repeated repetition of names of pictures that are related semantically, phonologically, or are unrelated. Our previous studies using this technique have suggested that patients with impaired access to lexical-semantic representations benefit in the short-term from this treatment technique, but show no long-term improvement in naming. In contrast, patients with good access to semantics show short- and long-term benefits from this treatment. Here we report two studies of treatment for two individuals with aphasia affecting access to lexical semantics and anomia but spared access to input and output phonology and spared conceptual semantics. We predicted that they would show short-term facilitation from the contextual priming, but no long-term improvements in naming. The results confirmed the prediction. An account of this pattern is offered within the framework of an interactive activation model of word retrieval. Additionally, we discuss alternative techniques for addressing naming deficits when access to semantics is impaired.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)853-866
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Anomia
  • Aphasia
  • Language therapy
  • Learning
  • Semantic aphasia
  • Semantics


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