Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Document Type


Date of this Version



Brain Inj. 2009 February ; 23(2): 101–110.


Copyright 2009 Informa Healthcare Ltd. (Taylor & Francis) Used by permission.


Primary objective—The researchers sought to determine whether individuals with impaired consciousness secondary to acquired brain injury (ABI) changed in responsiveness when purposefully presented with familiar, unfamiliar, and synthetic voice messages.

Research design—Researchers used an ABA single case study design across stimuli. Participants were 3 minimally-responsive ABI survivors.

Methods and procedures—Participants heard auditory stimuli two times daily for thirty days. Data from video recordings included tallies of behavioural responses at 10-second intervals throughout baseline, intervention, and post-intervention phases of each session. Statistical calculations allowed determination of responsiveness changes across time intervals within sessions.

Main outcomes and results—Unique response profiles emerged across survivors. Two participants demonstrated responsiveness changes with presentation of auditory stimuli. None demonstrated a clinically-significant differential response based on voice type.

Conclusions—Findings suggest that auditory stimulation results in arousal changes in some ABI survivors regardless of the familiarity of voices presented.