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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 25 (2012), Issue 2, Pages 73-101

Specificity in Rehabilitation of Word Production: A Meta-Analysis and a Case Study

Charlotte Jacquemot,1,2 Emmanuel Dupoux,1,2 Laura Robotham,1,2 and Anne-Catherine Bachoud-Lévi2,3,4,5

1Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique, ENS-EHESS-CNRS, Paris, France
2Département d’Etudes Cognitives, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
3INSERM U955 team 1 “Neuropsychologie Interventionnelle”, Institut Mondor de Recherche Biomédicale Créteil, France
4AP/HP, Unité de Neuropsychologie, Service de Neurologie, Hôpital Henri Mondor, Créteil, France
5Université Paris 12, Faculté de Médecine, Créteil, France

Received 19 January 2012; Accepted 19 January 2012

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Speech production impairment is a frequent deficit observed in aphasic patients and rehabilitation programs have been extensively developed. Nevertheless, there is still no agreement on the type of rehabilitation that yields the most successful outcomes. Here, we ran a detailed meta-analysis of 39 studies of word production rehabilitation involving 124 patients. We used a model-driven approach for analyzing each rehabilitation task by identifying which levels of our model each task tapped into. We found that (1) all rehabilitation tasks are not equally efficient and the most efficient ones involved the activation of the two levels of the word production system: the phonological output lexicon and the phonological output, and (2) the activation of the speech perception system as it occurs in many tasks used in rehabilitation is not successful in rehabilitating word production. In this meta-analysis, the effect of the activation of the phonological output lexicon and the phonological output cannot be assessed separately. We further conducted a rehabilitation study with DPI, a patient who suffers from a damage of the phonological output lexicon. Our results confirm that rehabilitation is more efficient, in terms of time and performance, when specifically addressing the impaired level of word production.