Distributed Training Enhances Implicit Sequence Acquisition in Children With Specific Language Impairment Purpose This study explored the effects of 2 different training structures on the implicit acquisition of a sequence in a serial reaction time (SRT) task in children with and without specific language impairment (SLI). Method All of the children underwent 3 training sessions, followed by a retention session ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 18, 2017
Distributed Training Enhances Implicit Sequence Acquisition in Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lise Desmottes
    Department of Speech and Language Therapy, University of Liège, Belgium
  • Thierry Meulemans
    Department of Psychology, University of Liège, Belgium
  • Marie-Aude Patinec
    Department of Speech and Language Therapy, University of Liège, Belgium
  • Christelle Maillart
    Department of Speech and Language Therapy, University of Liège, Belgium
  • 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 Lise Desmottes: lise.desmottes@ulg.ac.be
  • Editor: Sean Redmond
    Editor: Sean Redmond×
  • Associate Editor: Janna Oetting
    Associate Editor: Janna Oetting×
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 18, 2017
Distributed Training Enhances Implicit Sequence Acquisition in Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 2017, Vol. 60, 2636-2647. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0146
History: Received April 11, 2016 , Revised August 26, 2016 , Accepted May 8, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 2017, Vol. 60, 2636-2647. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0146
History: Received April 11, 2016; Revised August 26, 2016; Accepted May 8, 2017

Purpose This study explored the effects of 2 different training structures on the implicit acquisition of a sequence in a serial reaction time (SRT) task in children with and without specific language impairment (SLI).

Method All of the children underwent 3 training sessions, followed by a retention session 2 weeks after the last session. In the massed-training condition, the 3 training sessions were in immediate succession on 1 day, whereas in the distributed-training condition, the 3 training sessions were spread over a 1-week period in an expanding schedule format.

Results Statistical analyses showed that the children with normal language were unaffected by the training conditions, performing the SRT task similarly in both training conditions. The children with SLI, however, were affected by the training structure, performing the SRT task better when the training sessions were spaced over time rather than clustered on 1 day.

Conclusion This study demonstrated that although intensive training does not increase learning in children with SLI, distributing training sessions over time does increase learning. The implications of these results on the learning abilities of children with SLI are discussed, as are the mechanisms involved in massed versus distributed learning.

Acknowledgment
Support for this research was provided by the Belgian Fund of Scientific Research (FRESH–F.R.S.-FNRS). We thank all of the children who participated in this study and their parents for their collaboration.
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