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Exploring lexical processing in children with and without language impairments Howarth, Verity

Abstract

Current explanations for lexical processing difficulties in children with SLI were evaluated using an online picture-naming task. The twenty-seven participants included a group of school age children with language impairment (SLI), and two groups of typically developing children, one matched for language level (LM) and one matched for age (AM). Participants named familiar line drawings from a computer screen while hearing semantically related or unrelated nouns through headphones. These words occurred at three points relative to the pictures: -300ms, 0ms, +300ms. Reaction times and accuracy were recorded. The SLI group resembled age peers in overall response patterns and speed, though some slowing was noted. The SLI group showed semantic priming in the first two Time conditions, but at +300ms, the priming pattern was reversed. Findings are seen to point to processing asynchronies and generalized slowing rather than representational deficit accounts.

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