Pantomime production by people with aphasia. What are influencing factors?

Karin van Nispen, Mieke van de Sandt-Koenderman, Elisabeth Mol, Emiel Krahmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The present paper aimed to inform clinical practice on whether people with aphasia (PWA) deploy pantomime techniques similarly to non-brain damaged participants (NBDP) and if not, what factors influence these differences.
Method: We compared 38 PWA to 20 NBDP in their use of six representation techniques (handling, enact, object, shape, deictic and other) when pantomiming objects and determined whether PWA used the same defaults as NBDP. We assessed the influence of (Non-)dominant arm use, Ideomotor Apraxia, Semantic processing, Aphasia severity and Oral naming.
Results: PWA used various pantomime techniques. Enact, deictic and other were used infrequently. No differences were found for the use of shape techniques, but PWA used fewer handling and object techniques than NBDP and they did not use these for the same objects as NBDP did. No influence was found for (Non-)dominant arm use. All other variables correlated with the use of handling, object and defaults.
Conclusion: In our study, PWA were able to use various pantomime techniques. As a group, they used these techniques differently from NBDP and relied more heavily on the use of shape techniques. This was not influenced by a hemiparesis, but seemed much dependent on semantic processing. Clinical implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745–758
JournalJournal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • aphasia
  • semantic processing
  • hemiparesis
  • ideomotor apraxia
  • iconicity
  • pantomime
  • gesture


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