Exploring the connections between thinking and speaking

What the project was about

Many people with aphasia have trouble talking about actions and events. For example, they may find it hard to describe what happened at the weekend, or to tell the story of a favourite film. We wanted to find out:

  • What makes this difficult?
  • What processes are involved?
  • Do some people 'think' differently about actiona and events?
  • What can help?

What the project has found out

  • A lot of people with aphasia find it hard to talk about actions. For example, they have trouble with verbs and sentences.
  • Some people seem to think about actions differently from others. For example, they may have trouble adopting a viewpoint that 'translates' easily into language.
  • Therapy should take this into account. To help people talk about what's happening, we may need to support their thinking.
  • Therapy materials can help with this. For example, they can simplify some of the choices people have to make.

Who worked on the project?

  • Deborah Cairns, with Jane Marshall and Lucy Dipper at City University.
  • People with aphasia and their relatives helped to design and carry out the assessments

Who funded the project?

Connect, through a research studentship awarded to City University (2001-2004).