[PS-3.92] What happens when they think they are right? Error awareness analysis of sentence comprehension deficits in people with aphasia

Arantzeta , M. 1 , Webster, J. 2 , Laka, I. 3 , Martínez-Zabaleta, M. 4 & Howard, D. 2

1 International Doctorate for Experimental Approaches into Brain and Language (IDEALAB), Universities of Groningen (NL), Newcastle (UK), Potsdam (DE), Trento (IT) & Macquarie University Sydney (AU)
2 Speech and Language Sciences, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
3 Department of Linguistics and Basque Studies, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
4 Biodonostia Health Research Institute, San Sebastian University Hospital, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain

Comprehension of non-canonical sentences is frequently characterized by chance level performance in people with aphasia (PWA). Chance level performance has been interpreted as a consequence of guessing, but on-line data does not support this rendering. It is still not clear if the incorrect sentence processing is guided by the strategies that PWA might apply to overcome linguistic difficulties. This study combined off-line and on-line data to investigate the effect of word order and awareness of error on sentence comprehension in a group of 14 PWA speakers of Spanish and corresponding controls. The off-line tasks involved sentence picture-matching immediately followed by a confidence rating. Participants were asked to judge the perceived correctness of their previous answer. On-line data consisted of eye-tracking.
PWA tended to perceive as correct both correctly and incorrectly answered trials. Controls showed ceiling level sentence comprehension. A marginal number of judgments were classified as ?guessing?. There was no correlation between the confidence rate and response accuracy. Post-hoc gaze-data analysis indicated that confidence rate was a predictor of the fixation pattern during the presentation of the linguistic stimuli. Data suggest that PWA were mostly unaware of sentence comprehension errors and did not apply conscious strategies to compensate their handicaps.