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Cogn Neuropsychol. 2016 Jul-Sep;33(5-6):299-314. doi: 10.1080/02643294.2016.1192998. Epub 2016 Jul 29.

Objective support for subjective reports of successful inner speech in two people with aphasia.

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a Department of Neurology , Georgetown University , Washington , DC , USA.
b Department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, and Biomathematics , Georgetown University , Washington , DC , USA.
c Research Division , MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital , Washington , DC , USA.


People with aphasia frequently report being able to say a word correctly in their heads, even if they are unable to say that word aloud. It is difficult to know what is meant by these reports of "successful inner speech". We probe the experience of successful inner speech in two people with aphasia. We show that these reports are associated with correct overt speech and phonologically related nonword errors, that they relate to word characteristics associated with ease of lexical access but not ease of production, and that they predict whether or not individual words are relearned during anomia treatment. These findings suggest that reports of successful inner speech are meaningful and may be useful to study self-monitoring in aphasia, to better understand anomia, and to predict treatment outcomes. Ultimately, the study of inner speech in people with aphasia could provide critical insights that inform our understanding of normal language.


anomia; aphasia; inner speech; language; stroke

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