Macquarie University
01whole.pdf (4.78 MB)

Priming for success: exploring the role of repetition priming in improvements in word retrieval for unimpaired speakers and people with aphasia

Download (4.78 MB)
posted on 2022-03-28, 00:50 authored by Ella Sophie Creet
Aphasia is a speech and language disorder, most commonly resulting from a stroke. For many people with aphasia, finding the right word to say can be a frequent problem. However, some individuals with aphasia are able to improve their word retrieval simply by attempting to name a picture without any treatment or feedback. The first experimental chapter in this thesis (Chapter 2) explores this phenomenon, examining changes in accuracy over seven naming attempts at approximately six week intervals in a case series of 23 people with aphasia: four individuals showed significant improvement in naming, but, surprisingly, two showed performance that significantly worsened. The mechanism underpinning change in performance from repeated attempts at naming in people with aphasia has been hypothesised to be repetition priming. Hence, Chapters 3, 4 and 5 investigate parameters of repetition priming in young and older unimpaired speakers and people with aphasia. Chapter 3 explores the time course of repetition priming of picture naming in unimpaired young adults, finding significant priming with lags ranging from minutes to one month even though naming stimuli used different pictorial exemplars. There was no benefit from additional repetitions. Chapter 4 extends this to older speakers, finding no significant differences in priming from young adults, although priming was no longer significant for the older speakers at one week. Chapter 5 looks at repetition priming in people with aphasia, finding significant improvements in naming latencies with a lag of several minutes, but not at longer delays. Accuracy only showed priming with four repetitions spaced over one week. This thesis contributes to a better understanding of a mechanism underpinning treatment improvements in people with aphasia. Additionally, it provides further understanding of repetition priming mechanisms and highlights the importance of examining individual priming effects further. This will help inform both theories of word retrieval and targeted treatment for people with aphasia -- abstract.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction -- Chapter 2: Paper 1. Name it again. Improvements from repeated naming attempts in aphasia -- Chapter 3: Paper 2. An investigation of the time course of repetition priming of word retrieval -- Chapter 4: Paper 3. Repetition priming of spoken word production in older adults -- Chapter 5: Paper 4. Priming for success: repetition priming in aphasia -- Chapter 6: General discussion.


"The work presented in this thesis was carried out as part of the Erasmus Mundus joint International Doctorate for Experimental Approaches to Language and Brain (IDEALAB) and was funded by the European Commission within the action nr. 2015-1603/001-001-EMJD (Framework Partnership Agreement 2012-2025). Macquarie University (Australia), Newcastle University (United Kingdom), Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (the Netherlands), Università degli studi di Trento (Italy), Universität Potsdam (Germany)" -- page v of thesis. Includes bibliographical references Thesis by publication.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Cognitive Science

Department, Centre or School

Department of Cognitive Science

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Lyndsey Nickels

Additional Supervisor 1

Julie Morris

Additional Supervisor 2

David Howard


Copyright Ella Sophie Creet 2018. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (viii, 208 pages) illustrations

Former Identifiers


Usage metrics

    Macquarie University Theses


    Ref. manager