The Effect of Presentation Rate on Serial Memory in Young Children With Specific Language Impairment The study examined the serial memory ability of a group of preschool children with specific language impairment (SLI) who were compared to age and language control groups. The children were asked to recognize serial patterns under short and long presentation durations. The subjects were presented with images of common objects ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1998
The Effect of Presentation Rate on Serial Memory in Young Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Barbara B. Fazio
    Indiana University Bloomington
  • Contact author: Barbara B. Fazio, PhD, Speech & Hearing Sciences, 200 South Jordan, Indiana University, Bloom-ington, IN 47401.
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1998
The Effect of Presentation Rate on Serial Memory in Young Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1998, Vol. 41, 1375-1383. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4106.1375
History: Received June 30, 1997 , Accepted April 13, 1998
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1998, Vol. 41, 1375-1383. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4106.1375
History: Received June 30, 1997; Accepted April 13, 1998

The study examined the serial memory ability of a group of preschool children with specific language impairment (SLI) who were compared to age and language control groups. The children were asked to recognize serial patterns under short and long presentation durations. The subjects were presented with images of common objects (that appeared to be easily recoded into a phonological form) and iconic images of scribble drawings and unfamiliar faces (that did not appear to invite recoding). Under long presentation conditions, the performance of children with SLI resembled that of their age-matched peers on all 3 types of tasks. However, under short presentation conditions, children with SLI performed worse than their age-matched peers on all 3 tasks (and similarly to their language-matched peers). The performance of the children with SLI declined dramatically in all conditions when the items were presented for a brief period. If the serial memory deficits of young children with SLI were specific to phonological processing, their performance on recognizing the pattern of common objects should have been impaired, but not their performance with other visual tasks that are less likely to be recoded. Instead, serial memory in children with SLI was affected by presentation duration across tasks. The findings suggest that recognizing serial patterns is dependent, in part, on the speed of processing serial information. The findings are discussed in relation to models of limited capacity processing.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported, in part, by Grant DC02219 from NIH Center for Deafness and other Communicative Disorders. Special thanks to the MCCAP Head Start teachers, staff, and students; to Rachel Cole and Maureen Sweeney, who assisted with data collection; and to Nelson Cowan and Rita Naremore for their helpful suggestions on an earlier version of this manuscript.
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