Labbel is a battery of tests for the cognitive assessment of language.
A cognitive assessment of oral and written language allows an independent assessment of the language components. Independent assessment is required because any language task involves many cognitive operations, each putatively responsible for the observed difficulties in a language task. For instance, in a simple word repetition task, the patient first proceeds to the acoustic analysis of the input sound stimulus. Once analyzed, the patient attempts to match the sound form to a word in his lexicon. If the sound form matches with a known word, then the patient accesses to the meaning of the word.In a final step, the patient has to retrieve the articulatory gestures for the oral production of the word. Whether the processing is parallel or sequential, any impairment along the different steps will affect the patient’s speech output.
The cognitive assessment aims at identifying all possible sources of impairments susceptible to impede the performance of a patient in oral and written language tests. Therefore, within a cognitive approach, to understand why a patient is failing a word repetition task, the assessment involves a series of tests. First, an auditory discrimination task (same/different) will inform on the well-functioning of the acoustic signal analysis. Second, an auditory lexical decision task (word/nonword) can be used to verify whether or not the access to the phonological lexicon is impaired. Thirdly, another independent task, such as oral picture naming, is required to test the ability of the patient to produce articulatory gestures without having heard the word stimulus. If the patient shows no impairment in oral picture naming but fails the word repetition test, the examinator may conclude that the patient’s impairment in the repetition task is not related to difficulties in his speech production, because these difficulties would otherwise also impair the oral picture naming task. To conclude, it is by putting altogether results in differents tasks involving common and separate processings that the examinator may localize the functionnal deficits of the patient in written and oral language.