Picture naming in typically developing and language-impaired children: The role of sustained attention
until further notice
Number of pages
SourceInternational Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 52, 3, (2017), pp. 323-333
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC BO
SW OZ DCC PL
SW OZ BSI OLO
International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 1: Language and Communication; Learning and Plasticity; Psycholinguistics
Background: Children with specific language impairment (SLI) have problems not only with language performance but also with sustained attention, which is the ability to maintain alertness over an extended period of time. Although there is consensus that this ability is impaired with respect to processing stimuli in the auditory perceptual modality, conflicting evidence exists concerning the visual modality. Aims: To address the outstanding issue whether the impairment in sustained attention is limited to the auditory domain, or if it is domain-general. Furthermore, to test whether children's sustained attention ability relates to their word-production skills. Methods & Procedures: Groups of 7-9 year olds with SLI (N = 28) and typically developing (TD) children (N = 22) performed a picture-naming task and two sustained attention tasks, namely auditory and visual continuous performance tasks (CPTs). Outcomes & Results: Children with SLI performed worse than TD children on picture naming and on both the auditory and visual CPTs. Moreover, performance on both the CPTs correlated with picture-naming latencies across developmental groups. Conclusions & Implications: These results provide evidence for a deficit in both auditory and visual sustained attention in children with SLI. Moreover, the study indicates there is a relationship between domain-general sustained attention and picture-naming performance in both TD and language-impaired children. Future studies should establish whether this relationship is causal. If attention influences language, training of sustained attention may improve language production in children from both developmental groups.
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