Simulation of impairment: Commentary on Nickels, Rapp, and Kohnen (2015)

Ardi Roelofs
2015 Cognitive Neuropsychology  
Nickels, L., Rapp, B., and Kohnen, S. (2015. Challenges in the use of treatment to investigate cognition. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 32, 91-103) argue that impairment and treatment may be used to test computational models of cognition. They state that, contrary to their view, the authors of the WEAVER++ model of spoken word production have explicitly rejected simulation of impairment [i.e., Levelt, W. J. M., Roelofs, A., & Meyer, A. S. (1999b) . Multiple perspectives on word production.
more » ... al and Brain Sciences, 22, 61-69]. Here, I argue that this incorrectly characterizes the position of Levelt et al. Moreover, I further clarify this position, which holds that simulation of impairment requires both a theory of the intact system and assumptions about the underlying deficit, which is a widely accepted view. To demonstrate this position, I outline the approach taken in WEAVER++ simulations of aphasic performance reported in Roelofs, A. (2014. A dorsal-pathway account of aphasic language production: The WEAVER++/ARC model. Cortex, 59, 33-48). These simulations not only prove that the developers of WEAVER++ endorse simulation of impairment, but also highlight the importance of integrating psycholinguistic, functional neuroimaging, and tractographic evidence in testing models of impaired performance. ARTICLE HISTORY
doi:10.1080/02643294.2016.1154832 pmid:27355608 fatcat:y3cpecsh2zfjtmecmu5acful3u