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Backward and Simultaneous Masking in Children With Grammatical Specific Language Impairment: No Simple Link Between Auditory and Language Abilities

Rosen, S; Adlard, A; van der Lely, HKJ; (2009) Backward and Simultaneous Masking in Children With Grammatical Specific Language Impairment: No Simple Link Between Auditory and Language Abilities. J SPEECH LANG HEAR R , 52 (2) 396 - 411. 10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0114).

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Abstract

Purpose: We investigated claims that specific language impairment (SLI) typically arises from nonspeech auditory deficits by measuring tone-in-noise thresholds in a relatively homogeneous SLI subgroup exhibiting a primary deficit restricted to grammar (Grammatical[G]-SLI).Method: Fourteen children (mostly teenagers) with G-SLI were compared to age-, vocabulary-, and grammar-matched control children on their abilities to detect a brief tone in quiet and in the presence of a masking noise. The tone occurred either simultaneously with the noise or just preceding it (backward masking). Maskers with and without a spectral notch allowed estimates of frequency selectivity.Results: Group thresholds for the G-SLI children were never worse than those obtained for younger controls but were higher in both backward and simultaneous masking than in age-matched controls. However, more than half of the G-SLI group (8/14) were within age-appropriate limits for all thresholds. Frequency selectivity in the G-SLI group was normal. Within control and G-SLI groups, no threshold correlated with measures of vocabulary, grammar, or phonology. Nor did the language deficit in the G-SLI children vary with the presence or absence of auditory deficits.Conclusion: The auditory processing deficits sometimes found in children with SLI appear unlikely to cause or maintain the language impairment.

Type:Article
Title:Backward and Simultaneous Masking in Children With Grammatical Specific Language Impairment: No Simple Link Between Auditory and Language Abilities
DOI:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0114)
Keywords:specific language impairment, auditory processing disorder, masking, backward masking, simultaneous masking, ACOUSTICALLY MODIFIED SPEECH, DEVELOPMENTAL APHASIA, PROCESSING EFFICIENCY, READING DISABILITIES, TEMPORAL PERCEPTION, DEFICITS, DYSLEXIA, SLI, RESOLUTION, ADULTS
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences

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