The role of prosody in speech comprehension post-stroke

Project: Research


  • Arianna Nicole Lacroix (PI)


Stroke is the leading cause of adult long-term disability in the United States, and costs approximately $33 billion annually in health care and productivity loss. Following stroke, speech comprehension is the number one predictor of quality of life. Yet, the mechanisms supporting recovery of speech comprehension abilities are largely unknown and understudied. Preliminary data suggests that manipulating speech prosody (i.e. changes in rhythm and pitch) may improve speech comprehension abilities post-stroke by reducing demands on cognitive resources such as working memory and attention. Furthermore, different prosodic manipulations (i.e. constant and exaggerated prosody) have been shown to recruit separate brain regions. Specific aim 1 will identify the cognitive profiles (e.g. working memory and attention) that benefit from prosody manipulations to improve speech comprehension post-stroke using widely-used neuropsychological assessments. Specific aim 2 will identify stroke lesion patterns that benefit from prosody manipulations to improve speech comprehension post-stroke using structural MRI and lesion-symptom mapping. Identifying neurobiological targets, in addition to cognitive profiles, which can benefit from different speech manipulations is critical to effective language rehabilitation programs as accurate cognitive assessments are often difficult to obtain due to the communication deficits we are trying to improve. It is hypothesized that persons with preserved working memory abilities and lesions sparing left temporal-parietal cortex will benefit from speech spoken with constant prosody while persons with preserved attention abilities and lesions sparing left inferior frontal cortex will benefit from speech spoken with exaggerated prosody. The findings of this study will identify physical and cognitive biomarkers which could significantly improve language comprehension and rehabilitation post-stroke. Improving speech comprehension will result in increased quality of life, self-sufficiency, and a subsequent decrease in health care costs associated with stroke.
Award amount$53,688.00
Award date07/01/2018
Program typePredoctoral Fellowship
Award ID18PRE33990328
Effective start/end date07/01/201805/28/2019