Probed Serial Recall in Williams Syndrome Lexical Influences on Phonological Short-Term Memory Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2005
Probed Serial Recall in Williams Syndrome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jon Brock
    University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
  • Teresa McCormack
    University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
  • Jill Boucher
    University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
  • Contact author: Jon Brock, who is now at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3UD, United Kingdom. E-mail: jon.brock@psy.ox.ac.uk
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2005
Probed Serial Recall in Williams Syndrome
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2005, Vol. 48, 360-371. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/025)
History: Received March 29, 2004 , Accepted July 13, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2005, Vol. 48, 360-371. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/025)
History: Received March 29, 2004; Accepted July 13, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 9

Williams syndrome is a genetic disorder that, it has been claimed, results in an unusual pattern of linguistic strengths and weaknesses. The current study investigated the hypothesis that there is a reduced influence of lexical knowledge on phonological short-term memory in Williams syndrome. Fourteen children with Williams syndrome and 2 vocabulary-matched control groups, 20 typically developing children and 13 children with learning difficulties, were tested on 2 probed serial-recall tasks. On the basis of previous findings, it was predicted that children with Williams syndrome would demonstrate (a) a reduced effect of lexicality on the recall of list items, (b) relatively poorer recall of list items compared with recall of serial order, and (c) a reduced tendency to produce lexicalization errors in the recall of nonwords. In fact, none of these predictions were supported. Alternative explanations for previous findings and implications for accounts of language development in Williams syndrome are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by a doctoral studentship awarded to Jon Brock by the Williams Syndrome Foundation of the United Kingdom. We thank the families from the Williams Syndrome Foundation and the staff and pupils of Round Oak School, Leamington Spa, and Woodloes Infant and Junior Schools, Warwick, United Kingdom, for their cooperation in this work. We are also grateful to Gordon Brown, Chris Jarrold, Alan Baddeley, and Steve Majerus for comments on the manuscript and to Judy Turner for helpful suggestions concerning the probed recall tasks.
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