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Nondeclarative learning in children with Specific Language Impairment: Predicting regularities in the visuomotor, phonological, and cognitive domains

Publication date2012
Abstract

Ullman (2004) suggested that Specific Language Impairment (SLI) results from a general procedural learning deficit. In order to test this hypothesis, we investigated children with SLI via procedural learning tasks exploring the verbal, motor, and cognitive domains. Results showed that compared with a Control Group, the children with SLI (a) were unable to learn a phonotactic learning task, (b) were able but less efficiently to learn a motor learning task and (c) succeeded in a cognitive learning task. Regarding the motor learning task (Serial Reaction Time Task), reaction times were longer and learning slower than in controls. The learning effect was not significant in children with an associated Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), and future studies should consider comorbid motor impairment in order to clarify whether impairments are related to the motor rather than the language disorder. Our results indicate that a phonotactic learning but not a cognitive procedural deficit underlies SLI, thus challenging Ullmans' general procedural deficit hypothesis, like a few other recent studies.

Citation (ISO format)
MAYOR-DUBOIS, C. et al. Nondeclarative learning in children with Specific Language Impairment: Predicting regularities in the visuomotor, phonological, and cognitive domains. In: Neuropsychology, development, and cognition. Section C, Child neuropsychology, 2012, vol. 20, n° 1, p. 14–22. doi: 10.1080/09297049.2012.734293
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ISSN of the journal0929-7049
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