Information Processing and Proactive Interference in Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment PurposeIncreasing evidence suggests that children with specific language impairment (SLI) have a deficit in inhibition control, but research isolating specific abilities is scarce. The goal of this study was to examine whether children with SLI differ from their peers in resistance to proactive interference under different conditions.MethodAn information processing battery ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2014
Information Processing and Proactive Interference in Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Klara Marton
    The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York
    Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary
  • Luca Campanelli
    The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York
  • Naomi Eichorn
    The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York
  • Jessica Scheuer
    The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York
  • Jungmee Yoon
    The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York
  • Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Klara Marton: kmarton@gc.cuny.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor and Associate Editor: Janna Oetting×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language
Research Article   |   February 01, 2014
Information Processing and Proactive Interference in Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2014, Vol. 57, 106-119. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0306)
History: Received September 21, 2012 , Revised February 20, 2013 , Accepted May 2, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2014, Vol. 57, 106-119. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0306)
History: Received September 21, 2012; Revised February 20, 2013; Accepted May 2, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 14

PurposeIncreasing evidence suggests that children with specific language impairment (SLI) have a deficit in inhibition control, but research isolating specific abilities is scarce. The goal of this study was to examine whether children with SLI differ from their peers in resistance to proactive interference under different conditions.

MethodAn information processing battery with manipulations in interference was administered to 66 children (SLI, age-matched peers, and language-matched controls). In Experiment 1, previously relevant targets were used as distractors to create conflict. Experiment 2 used item repetitions to examine how practice strengthens word representations and how the strength of a response impacts performance on the following item.

ResultsChildren with SLI performed similarly to their peers in the baseline condition but were more susceptible to proactive interference than the controls in both experimental conditions. Children with SLI demonstrated difficulty suppressing irrelevant information, made significantly more interference errors than their peers, and showed a slower rate of implicit learning.

ConclusionChildren with SLI show weaker resistance to proactive interference than their peers, and this deficit impacts their information processing abilities. The coordination of activation and inhibition is less efficient in these children, but future research is needed to further examine the interaction between these two processes.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant 1R15DC009040-01, entitled “The Impact of Inhibition Control on Working Memory in Children With SLI,” awarded to Klara Marton, principal investigator; and funding received from the European Union and the European Social Fund, TÁMOP, 2010–2012, “Assessment of Cognitive Functions in Children With Different Disabilities” to Klara Marton, principal investigator.
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