Blog Archives

How Well Do Children Who Are Internationally Adopted Acquire Language? A Meta-Analysis

Conclusions: The results of the meta-analysis have direct clinical application regarding the assessment and treatment of language skills of internationally adopted children. The study also has implications for future studies of the language development of internationally adopted children.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

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Language Abilities of Children Who Stutter: A Meta-Analytical Review

Conclusions: Present findings were taken to suggest that children’s language abilities are potentially influential variables associated with childhood stuttering.

from American Journal of Speech Language Pathology

Brain structure anomalies in autism spectrum disorder—a meta-analysis of VBM studies using anatomic likelihood estimation

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are pervasive developmental disorders with characteristic core symptoms such as impairments in social interaction, deviance in communication, repetitive and stereotyped behavior, and impaired motor skills. Anomalies of brain structure have repeatedly been hypothesized to play a major role in the etiopathogenesis of the disorder. Our objective was to perform unbiased meta-analysis on brain structure changes as reported in the current ASD literature. We thus conducted a comprehensive search for morphometric studies by Pubmed query and literature review. We used a revised version of the activation likelihood estimation (ALE) approach for coordinate-based meta-analysis of neuroimaging results. Probabilistic cytoarchitectonic maps were applied to compare the localization of the obtained significant effects to histological areas. Each of the significant ALE clusters was analyzed separately for age effects on gray and white matter density changes. We found six significant clusters of convergence indicating disturbances in the brain structure of ASD patients, including the lateral occipital lobe, the pericentral region, the medial temporal lobe, the basal ganglia, and proximate to the right parietal operculum. Our study provides the first quantitative summary of brain structure changes reported in literature on autism spectrum disorders. In contrast to the rather small sample sizes of the original studies, our meta-analysis encompasses data of 277 ASD patients and 303 healthy controls. This unbiased summary provided evidence for consistent structural abnormalities in spite of heterogeneous diagnostic criteria and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) methodology, but also hinted at a dependency of VBM findings on the age of the patients. Hum Brain Mapp, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

from Human Brain Mapping

Epidemiology of acute otitis media in children of Latin America and the Caribbean: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Conclusions
Streptococcus pneumoniae and H. influenzae were the most frequent AOM bacterial pathogens, consistent with the international literature from other regions. Future studies on AOM incidence and health resources usage will help better define the impact of this disease.

from the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology

Language and verbal short-term memory skills in children with Down syndrome: A meta-analytic review

This study presents a meta-analytic review of language and verbal short-term memory skills in children with Down syndrome. The study examines the profile of strengths and weaknesses in children with Down syndrome compared to typically developing children matched for nonverbal mental age. The findings show that children with Down syndrome have broad language deficits (that are not restricted to measures of expressive language) and associated verbal short-term memory deficits. The profile of language skills in children with Down syndrome shows similarities to that seen in children with Specific Language Impairment. The practical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.

from Research in Developmental Disabilities

A Meta-Analysis of Single Case Research Studies on Aided Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems with Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Many individuals with autism cannot speak or cannot speak intelligibly. A variety of aided augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) approaches have been investigated. Most of the research on these approaches has been single-case research, with small numbers of participants. The purpose of this investigation was to meta-analyze the single case research on the use of aided AAC with individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Twenty-four single-case studies were analyzed via an effect size measure, the Improvement Rate Difference (IRD). Three research questions were investigated concerning the overall impact of AAC interventions on targeted behavioral outcomes, effects of AAC interventions on individual targeted behavioral outcomes, and effects of three types of AAC interventions. Results indicated that, overall, aided AAC interventions had large effects on targeted behavioral outcomes in individuals with ASD. AAC interventions had positive effects on all of the targeted behavioral outcome; however, effects were greater for communication skills than other categories of skills. Effects of the Picture Exchange Communication System and speech-generating devices were larger than those for other picture-based systems, though picture-based systems did have small effects.

from the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Coherence motion perception in developmental dyslexia: a meta-analysis of behavioral studies

The magnitude of the association between developmental dyslexia (DD) and motion sensitivity is evaluated in 35 studies, which investigated coherence motion perception in DD. A first analysis is conducted on the differences between DD groups and age-matched control (C) groups. In a second analysis, the relationship between motion coherence threshold and reading ability is considered. Globally, the mean effect size (ES) is moderate (d = 0.675, 2334 subjects) with a large value (d = 0.747) for the between-groups differences in motion perception and a smaller mean ES (d = 0.178) for the correlational studies. The influence on ES of the stimuli parameters and subjects age is analyzed. The number of dots, the age of the subjects, and the type of analysis (i.e. between-group or correlational) are significantly related to the ES. Looking at the ES values, a smaller number of dots constituting the stimuli are associated with larger ES and, interestingly, the children studies are associated with lower ES in comparison with the researches evaluating adults. The large ES value supports the importance of studying motion perception deficits in DD groups, consistently with the claim that dorsal impairment/noise-exclusion deficit could be one of the risk factor of reading difficulties. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

from Dyslexia

Reading Networks at Rest

Resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) approaches offer a novel tool to delineate distinct functional networks in the brain. In the present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we elucidated patterns of RSFC associated with 6 regions of interest selected primarily from a meta-analysis on word reading (Bolger DJ, Perfetti CA, Schneider W. 2005. Cross-cultural effect on the brain revisited: universal structures plus writing system variation. Hum Brain Mapp. 25: 92–104). In 25 native adult readers of English, patterns of positive RSFC were consistent with patterns of task-based activity and functional connectivity associated with word reading. Moreover, conjunction analyses highlighted the posterior left inferior frontal gyrus and the posterior left middle temporal gyrus (post-LMTG) as potentially important loci of functional interaction among 5 of the 6 reading networks. The significance of the post-LMTG has typically been unappreciated in task-based studies on unimpaired readers but is frequently reported to be a locus of hypoactivity in dyslexic readers and exhibits intervention-induced changes of activity in dyslexic children. Finally, patterns of negative RSFC included not only regions of the so-called default mode network but also regions involved in effortful controlled processes, which may not be required once reading becomes automatized. In conclusion, the current study supports the utility of resting-state fMRI for investigating reading networks and has direct relevance for the understanding of reading disorders such as dyslexia.

from Cerebral Cortex

Is There a Sex Ratio Difference in the Familial Aggregation of Specific Language Impairment? A Meta-Analysis

Conclusion: A predominance of affected males among family members is observed when using direct assessments only. This finding is interpreted with reference to the strengths and weaknesses of different assessment methodologies and what sex differences may indicate about the biological mechanisms underlying the SLI phenotype.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Aging and Directed Forgetting in Episodic Memory: A Meta-Analysis

In this meta-analysis, we examined the effects of aging on directed forgetting. A cue to forget is more effective in younger (d = 1.17) than in older (d = 0.81) adults. Directed-forgetting effects were larger (a) with the item method rather than with the list method, (b) with longer presentation times, (c) with longer postcue rehearsal times, (d) with single words rather than with verbal action phrases as stimuli, (e) with shorter lists, and (f) when recall rather than recognition was tested. Age effects were reliably larger when the item method was used, suggesting that these effects are mainly due to encoding differences.

from Psychology and Aging

Word Learning in Children With Primary Language Impairment: A Meta-Analysis

Conclusion: The difference in novel word learning performance between children with LI and age-matched children is strongly affected by task and participant characteristics in the primary studies.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Localization of sublexical speech perception components

Models of speech perception are in general agreement with respect to the major cortical regions involved, but lack precision with regard to localization and lateralization of processing units. To refine these models we conducted two Activation Likelihood Estimation (ALE) meta-analyses of the neuroimaging literature on sublexical speech perception. Based on foci reported in 23 fMRI experiments, we identified significant activation likelihoods in left and right superior temporal cortex and the left posterior middle frontal gyrus. Sub-analyses examining phonetic and phonological processes revealed only left mid-posterior superior temporal sulcus activation likelihood. A lateralization analysis demonstrated temporal lobe left lateralization in terms of magnitude, extent, and consistency of activity. Experiments requiring explicit attention to phonology drove this lateralization. An ALE analysis of eight fMRI studies on categorical phoneme perception revealed significant activation likelihood in the left supramarginal gyrus and angular gyrus. These results are consistent with a speech processing network in which the bilateral superior temporal cortices perform acoustic analysis of speech and non-speech auditory stimuli, the left mid-posterior superior temporal sulcus performs phonetic and phonological analysis, and the left inferior parietal lobule is involved in detection of differences between phoneme categories. These results modify current speech perception models in three ways: (1) specifying the most likely locations of dorsal stream processing units, (2) clarifying that phonetic and phonological superior temporal sulcus processing is left lateralized and localized to the mid-posterior portion, and (3) suggesting that both the supramarginal gyrus and angular gyrus may be involved in phoneme discrimination.

from Brain and Language

Localization of sublexical speech perception components

Models of speech perception are in general agreement with respect to the major cortical regions involved, but lack precision with regard to localization and lateralization of processing units. To refine these models we conducted two Activation Likelihood Estimation (ALE) meta-analyses of the neuroimaging literature on sublexical speech perception. Based on foci reported in 23 fMRI experiments, we identified significant activation likelihoods in left and right superior temporal cortex and the left posterior middle frontal gyrus. Sub-analyses examining phonetic and phonological processes revealed only left mid-posterior superior temporal sulcus activation likelihood. A lateralization analysis demonstrated temporal lobe left lateralization in terms of magnitude, extent, and consistency of activity. Experiments requiring explicit attention to phonology drove this lateralization. An ALE analysis of eight fMRI studies on categorical phoneme perception revealed significant activation likelihood in the left supramarginal gyrus and angular gyrus. These results are consistent with a speech processing network in which the bilateral superior temporal cortices perform acoustic analysis of speech and non-speech auditory stimuli, the left mid-posterior superior temporal sulcus performs phonetic and phonological analysis, and the left inferior parietal lobule is involved in detection of differences between phoneme categories. These results modify current speech perception models in three ways: (1) specifying the most likely locations of dorsal stream processing units, (2) clarifying that phonetic and phonological superior temporal sulcus processing is left lateralized and localized to the mid-posterior portion, and (3) suggesting that both the supramarginal gyrus and angular gyrus may be involved in phoneme discrimination.

from Brain and Language

A Meta-Analysis of Outcomes of Hydration Intervention on Phonation Threshold Pressure

To understand the variability in outcomes across studies, the role of factors that may impact the effects of hydration, such as the amount, type, and duration of intervention, must be determined. Only then can we obtain data to guide best clinical practice for protecting and rehabilitating vocal function.

from the Journal of Voice

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Caffeine Intake and Dementia: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

A recent meta-analysis of 4 studies published up to January 2004 suggests a negative association between coffee consumption and Alzheimer’s disease, despite important heterogeneity in methods and results. Several epidemiological studies on this issue have been published since then, warranting an update of the insights on this topic. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies quantifying the relation between caffeine intake and cognitive decline or dementia. Data sources searched included Medline, LILACS, Scopus, Web of Science and reference lists, up to September 2009. Cohort and case-control studies were included. Three independent reviewers selected the studies and extracted the data on to standardized forms. Nine cohort and two case-control studies were included. Quantitative data synthesis of the most precise estimates from each study was accomplished through random effects meta-analysis. Heterogeneity was quantified using the I^{2} statistic. The outcomes of the studies considered for meta-analysis were Alzheimer’s disease in four studies, dementia or cognitive impairment in two studies, and cognitive decline in three studies. The summary relative risk (RR) for the association between caffeine intake and different measures of cognitive iimpairment/decline was 0.84 [95% Confidence Interval (95% CI): 0.72–0.99; I^{2}=42.6%]. When considering only the cohort studies, the summary RR was 0.93 (95% CI: 0.83–1.04, I^{2}= 0.0%), and 0.77 (95% CI: 0.63–0.95, I^{2}= 34.7%), if the most influential study was excluded. This systematic review and meta-analysis found a trend towards a protective effect of caffeine, but the large methodological heterogeneity across a still limited number of epidemiological studies precludes robust and definite statements on this topic. and definite statements on this topic.

from the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease