General programme, activity sheet

Thursday 8 September, 2016 15:30 to 16:00 Oral presentation
No trade-off between Declarative and Procedural Memory in Children with Specific Language Impairment
Speaker: Kuppuraj Sengottuvel, University of Oxford

Authors: Sengottuvel Kuppuraj, Rao K S Prema, Dorothy Bishop

Background: There is growing evidence that children with specific language impairment (SLI) have impairments of procedural memory. The declarative compensatory hypothesis predicts that an intact declarative system compensates for attenuated procedural memory in these children. Accordingly, we predicted a trade-off between these memory systems in children with SLI. Methods: Thirty children aged 8-13 years with SLI were compared with 30 matched typically-developing (TD) controls. We administered a serial response time task to test motor procedural learning. We also used two non-verbal declarative tasks that differed at the level of encoding (incidental vs. intentional) and retrieval (recognition vs. recall) to consider how far these factors could account for past inconsistencies in findings. Retrieval was examined after 10 minutes and 60 minutes of encoding on both declarative tasks. Results: In agreement with previous research, we found deficient performance on the procedural learning task. Contrary to prediction, accuracy in declarative learning was impaired in children with SLI on both incidental and intentional tasks. Furthermore, in contrast to the declarative compensatory hypothesis, we found a positive relation between procedural and declarative skills in children with SLI. The findings are discussed in relation to a Generalized Context Model which advocates single mechanism exemplar-based learning of procedural and declarative information. The implications for teaching language to children with SLI will be discussed.
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Difficulties in language development
Place: Room A-16

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