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Language and analogical reasoning in children with Specific Language Impairment: The effect of articulatory suppression





Analogical reasoning shares a mutual influence with language development: analogical reasoning is improved by labelling analogical items with words describing the relations that they contain. Conversely, structural alignment, a core mechanism of analogical reasoning, allows the acquisition of novel words and the development of grammar (Gentner, 2010). Given those findings, some authors have taken interest in the analogical reasoning ability of children with language disorders, and specifically of children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Those children have worse performance than their age-matched peers without language disorders in linguistic or non-linguistic analogical tasks (Leroy, Maillart, & Parisse, 2014). Our aim here is to see if this weakness is due to their language disorders and if they use the same verbal strategies as their peers to solve an analogical task. To experience these assumptions, we use a perceptual analogical task following an A:B::C:D paradigm: participants have to find the relation between two geometric forms A and B and to apply it to the C term in order to find the D term among distractors. The distractors either share perceptual features with the C term, what creates a competition that shall be inhibited, or not. Moreover, children are faced with three interfering task conditions: one without any interfering task, one with an articulatory suppression secondary task and one with a tapping secondary task, which is used in order to measure the general dual task demands. Comparing the results of these conditions will allow us to evaluate the impact of language and verbal strategies on analogical reasoning in control and SLI children.

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