Blog Archives

Precursors to numeracy in kindergartners with specific language impairment

The present study investigated to what extent children with specific language impairment (SLI) differ in their early numeracy skills, when compared to normal language achieving (NLA) children. It was also explored which precursors were related to the early numeracy skills in both groups. Sixty-one children with SLI (6; 1 years) and 111 NLA children (6; 2 years) were assessed on general intelligence, working memory, naming speed, linguistic ability and early numeracy skills. The results showed lower scores for the children with SLI on logical operations and numeral representations but not on numeral estimations. The variance in numeral estimations was explained by children’s intelligence and visual spatial memory. Phonological awareness and grammatical ability explained the variance in logical operations and numeral representations whereas naming speed turned out to be an additional factor in predicting these early numeracy skills of children with SLI.

from Research in Developmental Disabilities

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Verb morphology as clinical marker of specific language impairment: Evidence from first and second language learners

The goal of this study was to search for verb morphology characteristics as possible clinical markers of SLI in Dutch as a first and second language. We also wanted to find out to what extent bilingual children with SLI are additionally disadvantaged in comparison to monolingual children with SLI, on the one hand, and to typically developing bilingual children, on the other hand. Therefore, we examined the use of verb morphology in the narratives of four groups of 7- and 9-year-old children: native Dutch (monolingual) children without SLI, bilingual children without SLI, native Dutch (monolingual) children with SLI, and bilingual children with SLI. The narrative performance in Dutch as measured by mean length of utterance and number of ungrammatical sentences was found to be generally worse for children learning Dutch as a second language, for children suffering from SLI, and for younger children. Furthermore, omission of an agreement marker in the third person singular verb form can be seen as a clinical marker of SLI in both first and second language learners. Bilingual children with SLI were found to be in an additionally disadvantaged position as far as their use of L2 verb morphology.<p><p>from <a href=”Research” _mce_href=”http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VDN-526KFF9-1&_user=108452&_coverDate=02%2F18%2F2011&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000059732&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=108452&md5=a71b1172c52deea0cf360828edd0f958&searchtype=a”>null”>http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VDN-526KFF9-1&_user=108452&_coverDate=02%2F18%2F2011&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000059732&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=108452&md5=a71b1172c52deea0cf360828edd0f958&searchtype=a”><em>Research in Developmental Disabilities</em></a></p>

P300 as a measure of processing capacity in auditory and visual domains in Specific Language Impairment

This study examined the electrophysiological correlates of auditory and visual working memory in children with Specific Language Impairments (SLI). Children with SLI and age-matched controls (11;9 – 14;10) completed visual and auditory working memory tasks while event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. In the auditory condition, children with SLI performed similarly to controls when the memory load was kept low (1-back memory load). As expected, when demands for auditory working memory were higher, children with SLI showed decreases in accuracy and attenuated P3b responses. However, children with SLI also evinced difficulties in the visual working memory tasks. In both the low (1-back) and high (2-back) memory load conditions, P3b amplitude was significantly lower for the SLI as compared to CA groups. These data suggest a domain-general working memory deficit in SLI that is manifested across auditory and visual modalities.

from Brain Research

Knowledge of Mathematical Equivalence in Children With Specific Language Impairment: Insights From Gesture and Speech

Conclusion: Children with SLI showed delays in their knowledge of mathematical equivalence. Children with ER-SLI displayed greater delays than children with E-SLI. Children with E-SLI sometimes expressed more advanced knowledge in gestures, suggesting that their knowledge is represented in a nonverbal format.

from Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools

Beyond Capacity Limitations II: Effects of Lexical Processes on Word Recall in Verbal Working Memory Tasks in Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment

Conclusions: Performance on verbal working memory span tasks for both SLI and CA children is influenced by word frequency, lexical cohorts, and semantic representations. Future studies need to examine the extent to which verbal working memory capacity is a cognitive construct independent of extant language knowledge representations.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Explaining Lexical–Semantic Deficits in Specific Language Impairment: The Role of Phonological Similarity, Phonological Working Memory, and Lexical Competition

Conclusions: Individual differences in richness of lexical semantic representations as well as differences between children with SLI and typically developing peers may—at least, in part—be explained by processes of competition. However, difficulty with auditory perception or phonological working memory does not fully explain difficulties in lexical semantics.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

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

Factors Affecting Accuracy of Past Tense Production in Children With Specific Language Impairment And Their Typically Developing Peers: The Influence of Verb Transitivity, Clause Location, and Sentence Type

Conclusions: Increased syntactic difficulty decreases use of morphology for all children, supporting the hypothesis that processing demands influence morphological accuracy. MLU-matched children, but not children with SLI, were more affected by changes in linguistic complexity. Further work on age-related changes in sentence production is necessary.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Electrophysiological Indices of Discrimination of Long-Duration, Phonetically Similar Vowels in Children With Typical and Atypical Language Development

Conclusions: Increased vowel duration can improve discrimination in children with SLI. However, poor identification of these longer vowels by some children with SLI suggests a deficit in long-term phonological representations or accessing these representations.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Bilingual Children with Primary Language Impairment: Issues, Evidence and Implications for Clinical Actions

A clear understanding of how to best provide clinical serves to bilingual children with suspected or confirmed primary language impairment (PLI) is predicated on understanding typical development in dual-language learners as well as the PLI profile. This article reviews general characteristics of children learning two languages, including three that challenge the diagnosis and treatment of PLI; uneven distribution of abilities in the child’s two languages, cross-linguistic associations within bilingual learners, and individual variation in response to similar social circumstances. The diagnostic category of PLI (also referred to in the literature as specific language impairment or SLI) is described with attention to how language impairment, in the face of otherwise typical development, manifests in children learning two languages. Empirical evidence related to differential diagnosis of PLI in bilingual children is then reviewed and issues related to the generalization of treatment gains in dual-language learners with PLI are introduced.

from the Journal of Communication Disorders

Follow up of P1 peak amplitude and peak latency in a group of specific language-impaired children

Conclusions
Considering the heterogeneity of the SLI group, P1 peak amplitude and peak latency may be valuable to follow up the maturation of the auditory system on individual basis rather than for differential diagnosis of SLI patient from normal. P1 does not show dramatic developmental change in the age range 5–10 years to be used clinically. Further researches are needed to standardize statistical method for analyzing P1 waveform.

from the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology

Verbal and nonverbal semantic processing in children with developmental language impairment

In an effort to clarify whether semantic integration is impaired in verbal and nonverbal auditory domains in children with developmental language impairment (a.k.a., LI and SLI), the present study obtained behavioral and neural responses to words and environmental sounds in children with language impairment and their typically developing age-matched controls (ages 7-15 years). Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded while children performed a forced-choice matching task on semantically matching and mismatching visual-auditory picture-word and picture-environmental sound pairs. Behavioral accuracy and reaction time measures were similar for both groups of children, with environmental sounds eliciting more accurate responses than words. In picture-environmental sound trials, behavioral performance and the brain’s response to semantic incongruency (i.e., the N400 effect) of the children with language impairment were comparable to those of their typically developing peers. However, in picture-word trials, children with LI tended to be less accurate than their controls and their N400 effect was significantly delayed in latency. Thus, the children with LI demonstrated a semantic integration deficit that was somewhat specific to the verbal domain. The particular finding of a delayed N400 effect is consistent with the storage deficit hypothesis of language impairment (Kail & Leonard, 1986) suggesting weakened and/or less efficient connections within the language networks of children with LI.

from Neuropsychologia

Verbal and nonverbal semantic processing in children with developmental language impairment

In an effort to clarify whether semantic integration is impaired in verbal and nonverbal auditory domains in children with developmental language impairment (a.k.a., LI and SLI), the present study obtained behavioral and neural responses to words and environmental sounds in children with language impairment and their typically developing age-matched controls (ages 7-15 years). Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded while children performed a forced-choice matching task on semantically matching and mismatching visual-auditory picture-word and picture-environmental sound pairs. Behavioral accuracy and reaction time measures were similar for both groups of children, with environmental sounds eliciting more accurate responses than words. In picture-environmental sound trials, behavioral performance and the brain’s response to semantic incongruency (i.e., the N400 effect) of the children with language impairment were comparable to those of their typically developing peers. However, in picture-word trials, children with LI tended to be less accurate than their controls and their N400 effect was significantly delayed in latency. Thus, the children with LI demonstrated a semantic integration deficit that was somewhat specific to the verbal domain. The particular finding of a delayed N400 effect is consistent with the storage deficit hypothesis of language impairment (Kail & Leonard, 1986) suggesting weakened and/or less efficient connections within the language networks of children with LI.

from Neuropsychology

Spectral vs. temporal auditory processing in specific language impairment: A developmental ERP study

Pre-linguistic sensory deficits, especially in “temporal” processing, have been implicated in developmental language impairment (LI). However, recent evidence has been equivocal with data suggesting problems in the spectral domain. The present study examined event-related potential (ERP) measures of auditory sensory temporal and spectral processing, and their interaction, in typical children and those with LI (7–17 years; n = 25 per group). The stimuli were three CV syllables and three consonant-to-vowel transitions (spectral sweeps) isolated from the syllables. Each of these six stimuli appeared in three durations (transitions: 20, 50, and 80 ms; syllables: 120, 150, and 180 ms). Behaviorally, the group with LIs showed inferior syllable discrimination both with long and short stimuli. In ERPs, trends were observed in the group with LI for diminished long-latency negativities (the N2–N4 peaks) and a developmentally transient enhancement of the P2 peak. Some, but not all, ERP indices of spectral processing also showed trends to be diminished in the group with LI specifically in responses to syllables. Importantly, measures of the transition N2–N4 peaks correlated with expressive language abilities in the LI children. None of the group differences depended on stimulus duration. Therefore, sound brevity did not account for the diminished spectral resolution in these LI children. Rather, the results suggest a deficit in acoustic feature integration at higher levels of auditory sensory processing. The observed maturational trajectory suggests a non-linear developmental deviance rather than simple delay.

from Cognitive Linguistics

Spectral vs. temporal auditory processing in specific language impairment: A developmental ERP study

Pre-linguistic sensory deficits, especially in “temporal” processing, have been implicated in developmental language impairment (LI). However, recent evidence has been equivocal with data suggesting problems in the spectral domain. The present study examined event-related potential (ERP) measures of auditory sensory temporal and spectral processing, and their interaction, in typical children and those with LI (7–17 years; n = 25 per group). The stimuli were three CV syllables and three consonant-to-vowel transitions (spectral sweeps) isolated from the syllables. Each of these six stimuli appeared in three durations (transitions: 20, 50, and 80 ms; syllables: 120, 150, and 180 ms). Behaviorally, the group with LIs showed inferior syllable discrimination both with long and short stimuli. In ERPs, trends were observed in the group with LI for diminished long-latency negativities (the N2–N4 peaks) and a developmentally transient enhancement of the P2 peak. Some, but not all, ERP indices of spectral processing also showed trends to be diminished in the group with LI specifically in responses to syllables. Importantly, measures of the transition N2–N4 peaks correlated with expressive language abilities in the LI children. None of the group differences depended on stimulus duration. Therefore, sound brevity did not account for the diminished spectral resolution in these LI children. Rather, the results suggest a deficit in acoustic feature integration at higher levels of auditory sensory processing. The observed maturational trajectory suggests a non-linear developmental deviance rather than simple delay.

from Brain and Language