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Brain Sciences

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Recently, a multilevel analytic approach called Main Concept, Sequencing, and Story Grammar (MSSG) was presented along with preliminary normative information. MSSG analyses leverage the strong psychometrics and rich procedural knowledge of both main concept analysis and story grammar component coding, complementing it with easy-to-obtain sequencing information for a rich understanding of discourse informativeness and macrostructure. This study is the next critical step for demonstrating the clinical usefulness of MSSG’s six variables (main concept composite, sequencing, main concept+sequencing, essential story grammar components, total episodic components, and episodic complexity) for persons with aphasia (PWAs). We present descriptive statistical information for MSSG variables for a large sample of PWAs and compare their performance to a large sample of persons not brain injured (PNBIs). We observed significant differences between PWAs and PNBIs for all MSSG variables. These differences occurred at the omnibus group level and for each aphasia subtype, even for PWAs with very mild impairment that is not detected with standardized aphasia assessment. Differences between PWAs and PNBIs were also practically significant, with medium to large effect sizes observed for nearly all aphasia subtypes and MSSG variables. This work deepens our understanding of discourse informativeness and macrostructure in PWAs and further develops an efficient tool for research and clinical use. Future research should investigate ways to expand MSSG analyses and to improve sensitivity and specificity.


Published version. Brain Sciences, Vol. 11, No. 1 (January 2021). DOI. © 2021 by the authors. Used with permission.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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