Monthly Archives: September 2010

Auditory Pathways and Processes: Implications for Neuropsychological Assessment and Diagnosis of Children and Adolescents

Neuroscience research on auditory processing pathways and their behavioral and electrophysiological correlates has taken place largely outside the field of clinical neuropsychology. Deviations and disruptions in auditory pathways in children and adolescents result in a well-documented range of developmental and learning impairments frequently referred for neuropsychological evaluation. This review is an introduction to research from the last decade. It describes auditory cortical and subcortical pathways and processes and relates recent research to specific conditions and questions neuropsychologists commonly encounter. Auditory processing disorders’ comorbidity with ADHD and language-based disorders and research addressing the challenges of assessment and differential diagnosis are discussed.

from Child Neuropsychology

Relational knowledge: the foundation of higher cognition

Accumulating evidence on the nature, function and acquisition of relational knowledge indicates a crucial role of such knowledge in higher cognitive processes. In this review, we specify the essential properties of relational knowledge, together with the role it plays in reasoning, categorisation, planning, quantification and language. Furthermore, we discuss the processes involved in its acquisition and how these processes have been implemented in contemporary neural network models. We present evidence demonstrating that relational knowledge integrates heuristic and analytic cognition, is important for symbolic processes and the creation of novelty, activates specific regions of the prefrontal cortex, and is the most recently evolved and slowest-developing cognitive process. Arguably, relational knowledge represents the core of higher cognition.

from Trends in Cognitive Sciences

Improving language without words: first evidence from aphasia

In support of a multimodal representation of action, these findings univocally demonstrate that gestures interact with the speech production system, inducing long-lasting modification at the lexical level in patients with cerebral damage.

from Neuropsychologia

The Role of Phonotactic Frequency in Sentence Repetition by Children With Specific Language Impairment

Conclusion: Children with SLI repeated CVC target words less accurately overall but showed similar sensitivity to PPF as typical controls, suggesting that PPF affects repetition of real words embedded in sentential contexts by both children with SLI and typically developing peers.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

A Treatment for Dysprosody in Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Conclusion: Findings support the efficacy of this approach for improving production of lexical stress contrasts. Structuring the intervention according to the PML approach likely stimulated strong maintenance and generalization effects.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Articulatory-to-Acoustic Relations in Response to Speaking Rate and Loudness Manipulations

Conclusion: Lingual displacement is a good predictor of acoustic vowel distance in healthy talkers. The weak association between kinematic and acoustic variability raises questions regarding the effects of articulatory variability on speech clarity and intelligibility, particularly in individuals with motor speech disorders.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Auxiliary BE Production by African American English–Speaking Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment

Conclusions: These findings show across-dialect similarities and differences between children’s acquisition of AAE and mainstream American English. Similarities involve the rate of the children’s BE marking as a function of their clinical status and the nature of their dialect-inappropriate errors. Differences involve the children’s rates of BE marking as a function of the form, context, and task.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Commentary on Why Laryngeal Stroboscopy Really Works: Clarifying Misconceptions Surrounding Talbot’s Law and the Persistence of Vision

Conclusions: References to Talbot’s law and the persistence of vision are not relevant to the generation of stroboscopic images. The critical visual phenomena are the flicker-free perception of light intensity and the perception of apparent motion from sampled images. A complete understanding of how laryngeal stroboscopy works will aid in better interpreting clinical findings during voice assessment.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Comprehension of Inferences in Discourse Processing by Adolescents With and Without Language Impairment

Conclusions: Understanding implicit information, particularly when linking distant information, is difficult for adolescents who are deficient in language comprehension, verbal working memory skills, and/or general world knowledge.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Development of Verbal Passive in Williams Syndrome

Conclusions: The results reveal a previously unreported deficiency in the domain of syntax in WS, suggesting a particular difficulty with the structure of the verbal passive, not directly related to general levels of nonverbal abilities, receptive vocabulary, or general comprehension of grammar. It is argued that the difficulty in the formation of verbal passives in WS stems from a deficit in forming argument chains.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Discriminating Dysarthria Type From Envelope Modulation Spectra

Conclusions: Dysarthrias can be characterized by quantifiable temporal patterns in acoustic output. Because EMS analysis is automated and requires no editing or linguistic assumptions, it shows promise as a clinical and research tool.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Expressive Language Profiles of Verbally Expressive Adolescents and Young Adults With Down Syndrome or Fragile X Syndrome

Conclusions: Results contribute to the ongoing construction of the language phenotypes of individuals with DS and individuals with FXS and support the conclusion that there are quantitative rather than qualitative differences in their expressive language profiles.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Oral Narrative Skills in French Adults Who Are Functionally Illiterate: Linguistic Features and Discourse Organization

Conclusions: Individuals who have not succeeded in learning to read also have impaired oral language abilities. This may affect different aspects of communication skills to a greater or lesser extent. These results have implications for teaching written language to adult learners.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

The Impact of Vocal Hyperfunction on Relative Fundamental Frequency During Voicing Offset and Onset

Conclusions: Altered offset and onset RFF in patients with hyperfunction-related voice disorders can be interpreted as a by-product of heightened levels of laryngeal muscle tension. Measurement of RFF during voice offset and onset has potential for use as a simple, noninvasive measure of vocal hyperfunction.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

The Role of Vocal Practice in Constructing Phonological Working Memory

Conclusions: Performance depended on familiarity with words or their subunits and was strongest for real words, weaker for IN words, and weakest for OUT words. The results demonstrate the important role of speech production in the construction of phonological working memory.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research