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Semantic Modulation in a Daily Occupational Performance

Author(s): Kinsuk Maitra

Journal: Al Ameen Journal of Medical Sciences
ISSN 0974-1143

Volume: 01;
Issue: 01;
Start page: 10;
Date: 2008;
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Occupational therapy practice places extra emphasis in finding a way to influence the meaning of an object to a person, because many of our daily occupations are object related. Meaning is an interpretive cognitive process that a person undergoes when deciding on an occupational interaction with an object or form. Within the past few years, a series of studies by Gentilucci have found a priming effect of object related words on the motor performance. The purpose of the present study was to extend Gentilucci’s (2003) study by adding a speech component to investigate whether the language induced effect of motor performance is further enhanced by speech production of the action congruent words. Twenty-eight adult participants either read aloud or read silently four object related words (‘far’, ‘near’, ‘large’, and ‘small’) written on a water bottle while reaching, grasping, and placing the bottle on a second spot. A movement recording and analysis system measured movements of the fingers and arm. A counterbalanced repeated measures analysis of variance, results showed a) no significant differences between reading aloud and reading silently conditions b) grasping aperture was significantly larger when participants read ‘large’ and reaching was significantly faster when participants read ‘far’ on the bottle. No other significance was found. The results indicated that it is possible to cognitively prime an occupational performance by using object or action congruent words in a specific manner. Occupational therapists might incorporate action congruent words as a priming cue to enhance performance of their clients
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