Another look at nonverbal rule induction in children with SLI

Testing a flexible reconceptualization hypothesis

Barbara J Kiernan, David Snow, Linda Swisher, Rebecca Vance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study focuses on the ability of preschool children with specific language impairment (SLI) to extract target regularities from recurring nonverbal stimuli. As a step beyond previous methodologies, we also assessed their ability to shift and extract other regularities after feedback indicated that their choices were no longer correct. This step was motivated by Connell and Stone's (1994) hypothesis that difficulties manifested by children with SLI in extracting nonverbal 'rules' from multiple problem sets may reflect difficulties in 'flexible reconceptualization,' that is, in the ability to flexibly shift across regularities. Thirty 4- and 5-year-olds with SLI and 30 age-matched children developing language normally participated in a discrimination learning-shift paradigm. Findings indicated that both language groups were successful in extracting regularities and making shifts. In fact, language groups did not differ in number of regularities extracted, number of shifts completed, or trials to criterion. As a consequence, findings failed to provide evidence that children with SLI are limited in either the ability to extract nonverbal regularities or to flexibly reconceptualize them. From a larger theoretical perspective, the findings fail to support theories positing that generalized 'rule-induction' deficits underlie the verbal and nonverbal impairments of SLI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume40
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1997

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regularity
induction
Language
Aptitude
language
language group
ability
discrimination learning
Discrimination Learning
Child Language
preschool child
Preschool Children
Regularity
Specific Language Impairment
Induction
Testing
deficit
stimulus
paradigm
methodology

Keywords

  • Nonverbal skills
  • Preschool children
  • Rule induction
  • Specific language impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Another look at nonverbal rule induction in children with SLI : Testing a flexible reconceptualization hypothesis. / Kiernan, Barbara J; Snow, David; Swisher, Linda; Vance, Rebecca.

In: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Vol. 40, No. 1, 02.1997, p. 75-82.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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