A cognitive psychometric investigation of word production and phonological error rates in logopenic progressive aphasia

Diana Petroi, Grant M. Walker, Joseph R. Duffy, Gregory S. Hickok, Keith A. Josephs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study investigated the relationship between word production rates (WPRs) and phonological error rates (PERs) in generative and responsive tasks in logopenic progressive aphasia (lvPPA). We examined whether a portion of the reduced WPR during generative tasks related directly to phonological impairments affecting PER on all tasks, irrespective of other task differences that contributed to WPR. Method: Two cognitive psychometric models were hypothesized and fit to the total number of words produced and the number of phonological errors produced by 22 participants on 10 tasks. Bayesian inference was used to construct posterior distributions of participant ability and task difficulty parameters. Model fit statistics were compared. Association strengths for average generative WPR and average responsive PER were also evaluated with linear least-squares regression. Results: Average generative WPR and average responsive PER were significantly associated (r = −.77, p = .00002). A cognitive psychometric model that assumed reduced WPR on generative tasks reflects a portion of general phonological impairment yielded better fit than a model that ignored performance differences between generative and responsive tasks. Generative fluency tasks that elicited few phonological errors still reflected phonological impairment, via suppression. Individual participants were estimated to suppress between 62% and 93% of phonological errors on generative tasks that would have emerged on responsive tasks. Conclusions: Suppression of phonological errors may present as decreased WPR on generative tasks in lvPPA. Failure to account for this suppression tendency may lead to overestimation of phonological ability. The findings indicate the need to account for task demands in assessing lvPPA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1194-1202
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of speech-language pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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