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Hogrefe, Katharina; Goldenberg, Georg; Glindemann, Ralf; Klonowski, Madleen and Ziegler, Wolfram (2021): Nonverbal Semantics Test (NVST)-A Novel Diagnostic Tool to Assess Semantic Processing Deficits: Application to Persons with Aphasia after Cerebrovascular Accident. In: Brain Sciences, Vol. 11, No. 3, 359

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Assessment of semantic processing capacities often relies on verbal tasks which are, however, sensitive to impairments at several language processing levels. Especially for persons with aphasia there is a strong need for a tool that measures semantic processing skills independent of verbal abilities. Furthermore, in order to assess a patient's potential for using alternative means of communication in cases of severe aphasia, semantic processing should be assessed in different nonverbal conditions. The Nonverbal Semantics Test (NVST) is a tool that captures semantic processing capacities through three tasks-Semantic Sorting, Drawing, and Pantomime. The main aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between the NVST and measures of standard neurolinguistic assessment. Fifty-one persons with aphasia caused by left hemisphere brain damage were administered the NVST as well as the Aachen Aphasia Test (AAT). A principal component analysis (PCA) was conducted across all AAT and NVST subtests. The analysis resulted in a two-factor model that captured 69% of the variance of the original data, with all linguistic tasks loading high on one factor and the NVST subtests loading high on the other. These findings suggest that nonverbal tasks assessing semantic processing capacities should be administered alongside standard neurolinguistic aphasia tests.

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