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Perceptual organization and visual immediate memory in children with specific language impairment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 June 2006

NATACHA AKSHOOMOFF
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, California
JOAN STILES
Affiliation:
Department of Cognitive Science, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, California
BEVERLY WULFECK
Affiliation:
School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, California Center for Research on Language, University of California, San Diego

Abstract

Children with specific language impairment (LI) have deficits on some nonverbal tasks, but it is not clear if these are related to specific visuospatial deficits or to more general deficits in processing strategies. Children with LI were given two visuospatial tasks that we have shown to be sensitive to strategy use as well as specific processing deficits. In Study 1, children with LI (N = 29, ages 6 to 12 years) performed significantly worse than typically developing children (N = 26) on the Hierarchical Forms Memory task. In Study 2, children with LI (N = 15; ages 9 to 12 years) performed significantly worse than typically developing children (N = 40) on the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure task. Children with LI were less accurate and tended to use a fairly piecemeal (immature) strategy when copying the figure and were less likely to draw the core rectangle in a more integrated fashion during the immediate memory condition. These results suggest children with LI have subtle deficits on visuospatial tasks that may be more indicative of limitations associated with processing load and planning than of specific visuospatial processing deficits (JINS, 2006, 12, 465–474.)

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2006 The International Neuropsychological Society

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