A functional magnetic resonance imaging investigation of verbal working memory in adolescents with specific language impairment

Susan Ellis Weismer, Elena M Plante, Maura Jones, J. Bruce Tomblin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study used neuroimaging and behavioral techniques to examine the claim that processing capacity limitations underlie specific language impairment (SLI). Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to investigate verbal working memory in adolescents with SLI and normal language (NL) controls. The experimental task involved a modified listening span measure that included sentence encoding and recognition of final words in prior sets of sentences. The SLI group performed significantly poorer than the NL group for both encoding and recognition and displayed slower reaction times for correct responses on high complexity encoding items. fMRI results revealed that the SLI group exhibited significant hypoactivation during encoding in regions that have been implicated in attentional and memory processes, as well as hypoactivation during recognition in regions associated with language processing. Correlational analyses indicated that adolescents with SLI exhibited different patterns of coordinating activation among brain regions relative to controls for both encoding and recognition, suggesting reliance on a less functional network. These findings are interpreted as supporting the notion that constraints in nonlinguistic systems play a role in SLI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-425
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2005

Fingerprint

Short-Term Memory
Language
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
adolescent
language
language group
Verbal Working Memory
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Specific Language Impairment
Encoding
activation
Neuroimaging
brain
Reaction Time
Group
Recognition (Psychology)
Brain

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Language processing
  • Memory
  • Neuroimaging
  • Specific language impairment (SLI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

A functional magnetic resonance imaging investigation of verbal working memory in adolescents with specific language impairment. / Weismer, Susan Ellis; Plante, Elena M; Jones, Maura; Tomblin, J. Bruce.

In: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Vol. 48, No. 2, 04.2005, p. 405-425.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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