First Advisor

Marie T. Rau

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech and Hearing Sciences


Speech Communication




Reading comprehension, Aphasia, Brain damage, Cerebral hemispheres



Physical Description

1 online resource (82 p.)


The purpose of this study was to examine and compare inferential abilities on a reading comprehension task in two groups of adults who had suffered cerebrovascular accidents (CVA). Sixteen subjects with a CVA to the right hemisphere of the brain were compared to an equal number of left hemisphere damaged subjects. Subjects were selected after they had demonstrated an adequate level of functioning on the Short Porch Index of Communicative Ability (SPICA), a test which measures communicative efficiency, to perform the tasks required in this study. All subjects were administered the revised version of the Nelson Reading Skills Test (NRST). On the NRST, test questions can be grouped into three categories representing literal, translational and high levels of inference. Subjects were presented five reading paragraphs. They were asked to answer thirty-three questions pertaining to the reading material by pointing to the correct answer out of four choices. Subjects were allowed to refer back to the paragraphs when trying to answer the questions.

Results revealed total NRST performance to be significantly better for RBD subjects. RBD subjects also performed significantly better than LBD subjects on translational inference items. The research data did not reflect the expected error pattern with most errors on questions requiring high inferential abilities followed by translational items and fewest errors on literal inferences for either group of subjects.


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