General programme, activity sheet

Thursday 8 September, 2016 12:00 to 12:30 Symposium
Executive functions and language development in preterm and full-term children
Speaker: Miguel Pérez Pereira, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela


The present study aims to compare one group of preterm children (PR) and another group of full-term (FT) children in their executive functions (EFs) and cognitive and linguistic abilities, and to study possible predictors of language development. Extremely and very preterm children were found to show deficits of small to moderate magnitude in certain EF tasks as compared to full-term children. It still must be determined if these deficits also affect low risk preterm children. Relationships between EFs and language development are well known, particularly those concerning working memory. A sample of 111 low risk PR children and another group of 34 FT children were longitudinally followed from 4 to 5 years of age. Different tasks to assess executive functions were applied to the children when they were 4 and 5 years of age (among them: language memory, visuospatial working memory, inhibitory control, and sustained attention). Different dimensions of language development were assessed through different tests at the same ages: vocabulary comprehension, morphosyntactic production, comprehension of grammar structures and pragmatics. PR children did not obtain lower results than the FT children in any EF task. The group of PR children tended to show lower results than the FT children in all language tests, although significant differences were not found. Linear regression analyses indicate that cognitive score was the main predictor of linguistic results, although verbal memory and performance in attention and inhibitory control in particular, had a significant effect on productive ability in morphophonology and grammar understanding. The results found indicate that low risk PR children do not show generalized delays in executive functions or language development, in contrast to the results found when studying extremely or very PR children. Executive functions were found to have a moderate predictive effect on the development of several language dimensions, although the effect was not so strong on others. Verbal sequential memory followed by attention and inhibitory control seem to have the strongest effects on grammar development.
Symposium: Preterm children`s language abilities at different ages and their relations with other factors.
Place: Room A-14

Other activities in Symposium: Preterm children`s language abilities at different ages and their relations with other factors.
11:00 h. to 11:30 h.Symposium

Early word segmentation and mapping in preterm infants: data from an audiovisual task

Speaker: Laura Bosch Galcerán, Universitat de Barcelona
11:30 h. to 12:00 h.Symposium

Estonian preterm and full term children’s early vocabulary

Speaker: Astra Schults, University of Tartu
12:30 h. to 13:00 h.Symposium

Literacy in very preterm children. Delayed or atypical development?