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See detailProcedural learning across modalities in French-speaking children with specific language impairment
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg; Parisse, Christophe et al

in Applied Psycholinguistics (2014)

It has been suggested that the language problems encountered in specific language impairment (SLI) arise from basal ganglia abnormalities that lead to impaired procedural memory. However, recent serial ... [more ▼]

It has been suggested that the language problems encountered in specific language impairment (SLI) arise from basal ganglia abnormalities that lead to impaired procedural memory. However, recent serial reaction time (SRT) studies did not reveal any differences between the SLI and typically developing (TD) groups on the measures of procedural memory linked to visual sequence learning. In this paper, 16 children with and without SLI were compared on two versions of SRT tasks: a visual task and an auditory one. The results showed that children with SLI were as fast as their TD peers in both modalities. All of the children obtained similar specific sequence learning indices, indicating that they were able to detect regularities in both modalities. Although children with SLI were as accurate as their TD peers for the visual SRT task, they made more errors than their TD peers in auditory SRT conditions. The results indicate that, in relation to procedural memory, the core of the impairment in SLI is not linked to difficulties in the detection of regularities. We argue that when children with SLI present some difficulties, the children’s weaknesses might depend on the type of processing involved (e.g., tasks involving auditory sequences). [less ▲]

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See detailPROCEDURAL VISUAL LEARNING IN CHILDREN WITH SPECIFIC LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENT
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Stefaniak, Nicolas ULg; Maillart, Christelle ULg et al

in American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (2012)

Purpose: According to the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), difficulties in the Procedural Learning (PL) system may contribute to the language difficulties observed in children with Specific Language ... [more ▼]

Purpose: According to the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), difficulties in the Procedural Learning (PL) system may contribute to the language difficulties observed in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Method: Fifteen children with SLI and their typically developing (TD) peers were compared on visual PL tasks: specifically, deterministic Serial Reaction Time (SRT) tasks. In a first experiment, children with SLI and their TD peers performed the classical SRT task using a keyboard as response mode. In a second experiment, they performed the same SRT task but gave their responses through a touchscreen (instead of a keyboard) to reduce the motor and cognitive demands of the task. Results: Although in Experiment 1, children with SLI demonstrated learning, they were slower and made more errors than their TD peers. Nevertheless, these relative weaknesses disappeared when the nature of the response mode changed (Experiment 2). Conclusions: This study reports that children with SLI may exhibit sequential learning. Moreover, the generally slower RTs observed in previous deterministic SRT studies may be explained by the response mode used. Thus, our findings are not consistent with the predictions of the PDH, and suggest that language impairments in SLI are not sustained by poor procedural learning abilities. [less ▲]

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See detailImplication des mécanismes d’apprentissage de régularités dans l’acquisition du langage chez l’enfant sain et dysphasique
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Urbain, Charline

in C. Maillart, M.-A. Schelstraete (Ed.) Les dysphasies : de l’évaluation à la rééducation (2012)

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See detailProcedural learning in specific language impairment: effects of sequence complexity
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Maillart, Christelle ULg; Stefaniak, Nicolas ULg et al

in Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society (2012)

According to the procedural deficit hypothesis (PDH), abnormal development in the procedural memory system could account for the language deficits observed in specific language impairment (SLI). Recent ... [more ▼]

According to the procedural deficit hypothesis (PDH), abnormal development in the procedural memory system could account for the language deficits observed in specific language impairment (SLI). Recent studies have supported this hypothesis by using a serial reaction time (SRT) task, during which a slower learning rate is observed in children with SLI compared to controls. Recently, we obtained contrasting results, demonstrating that children with SLI were able to learn a sequence as quickly and as accurately as controls. These discrepancies could be related to differences in the statistical structure of the SRT sequence between these studies. The aim of this study was to further assess, in a group of 21 children with SLI, the PDH with second-order conditional sequences, which are more difficult to learn than those used in previous studies. Our results show that children with SLI had impaired procedural memory, as evidenced by both longer reaction times and no sign of sequence-specific learning in comparison with typically developing controls. These results are consistent with the PDH proposed by Ullman and Pierpont (2005) and suggest that procedural sequence-learning in SLI children depends on the complexity of the to-be-learned sequence. [less ▲]

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See detailUnimpaired Procedural visual learning abilities in children with specific language impairment..
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Stefaniak, Nicolas ULg; Maillart, Christelle ULg et al

in American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (2012)

Purpose: According to the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), difficulties in the Procedural Learning (PL) system may contribute to the language difficulties observed in children with Specific Language ... [more ▼]

Purpose: According to the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), difficulties in the Procedural Learning (PL) system may contribute to the language difficulties observed in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Method: Fifteen children with SLI and their typically developing (TD) peers were compared on visual PL tasks: specifically, deterministic Serial Reaction Time (SRT) tasks. In a first experiment, children with SLI and their TD peers performed the classical SRT task using a keyboard as response mode. In a second experiment, they performed the same SRT task but gave their responses through a touchscreen (instead of a keyboard) to reduce the motor and cognitive demands of the task. Results: Although in Experiment 1, children with SLI demonstrated learning, they were slower and made more errors than their TD peers. Nevertheless, these relative weaknesses disappeared when the nature of the response mode changed (Experiment 2). Conclusions: This study reports that children with SLI may exhibit sequential learning. Moreover, the generally slower RTs observed in previous deterministic SRT studies may be explained by the response mode used. Thus, our findings are not consistent with the predictions of the PDH, and suggest that language impairments in SLI are not sustained by poor procedural learning abilities. [less ▲]

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See detailIncidental non linguistic regularities learning in Children with
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg; Parisse, Christophe et al

Poster (2011, July)

Recent studies on specific language impairment (SLI) have suggested that language deficits could be partly explained by the Procedural Deficit hypothesis (PDH; Ullman & Pierpont, 2005). Tomblin et al ... [more ▼]

Recent studies on specific language impairment (SLI) have suggested that language deficits could be partly explained by the Procedural Deficit hypothesis (PDH; Ullman & Pierpont, 2005). Tomblin et al. (2007) and Lum et al. (2009; 2011) obtained data supporting this interpretation with the serial reaction time (SRT) task, as well as Evans et al. (2009) and Plante et al. (2002) with artificial grammar tasks. Recently, Gabriel et al. (2011) obtained contrasting results, showing that children with SLI were able to detect non linguistic regularities during a SRT task. The aim of this study was to assess the PDH by using a non-linguistic artificial grammar learning tasks in order to mimic real conditions of language acquisition. Twenty-three children with SLI and their typically developing (TD) peers are compared on a task in which the incidental learning sequence was presented through visual shapes via a laptop.These results confirm our previous study (Gabriel et al., 2011) by showing that children with SLI detect the rules in non-linguistic conditions. • So, contrary to results of previous studies (Evans et al., 2009; Lum et al., 2009; 2011; Plante et al., 2002; Tomblin et al., 2007), this study does not confirm the PDH in children with SLI, or at least suggests that, if present, the deficit of the procedural system in SLI is not going beyond the language system. [less ▲]

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See detailExploration of serial structure procedural learning in children with language impairment.
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Maillart, Christelle ULg; Guillaume, mélody et al

in Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society (2011), 17

Recent studies on specific language impairment (SLI) have suggested that language deficits are directly associated with poor procedural learning abilities. Findings from our previous work are contrary to ... [more ▼]

Recent studies on specific language impairment (SLI) have suggested that language deficits are directly associated with poor procedural learning abilities. Findings from our previous work are contrary to this hypothesis; we found that children with SLI were able to learn eight-element-long sequences as fast and as accurately as children with normal language (NL) on a serial reaction time (SRT) task. A probabilistic rather than a deterministic SRT paradigm was used in the current study to explore procedural learning in children with SLI to mimic real conditions of language learning. Fifteen children with or without SLI were compared on an SRT task including a probabilistic eight-element-long sequence. Results show that children with SLI were able to learn this sequence as fast and as accurately as children with NL, and that similar sequence-specific learning was observed in both groups. These results are novel and suggest that children with SLI do not display global procedural system deficits. (JINS, 2011, 17, 1-8). [less ▲]

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See detailIs there a generalized procedural deficit in children with Specific Language Impairment?
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Maillart, Christelle ULg; Guillaume, Mélody et al

Poster (2010, July 08)

Previous studies (Lum et al., 2009; Tomblin et al., 2007; Ullman & Pierpont, 2005) have suggested that difficulties in the procedural learning system could contribute, in part, to the language ... [more ▼]

Previous studies (Lum et al., 2009; Tomblin et al., 2007; Ullman & Pierpont, 2005) have suggested that difficulties in the procedural learning system could contribute, in part, to the language difficulties observed in children with SLI. However, we have recently shown, with an adapted serial reaction time (SRT) task, that children with SLI are able to learn implicitly non-linguistic regularities (Gabriel et al., submitted). In this research, we wanted to determine whether children with SLI are able to learn an 8-elements probabilistic sequence into which irregularities are inserted. Assessing probabilistic sequence learning in children with SLI should help us to better circumscribe the language difficulties of these children [less ▲]

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See detailUnimpaired Implicit Learning abilities in Children with Specific Language Impairment.
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Fauconnier, Leslie; Meulemans, Thierry ULg et al

Poster (2010, June 26)

Previous studies (Lum et al., 2009; Tomblin et al., 2007; Ullman & Pierpont, 2005) have suggested that difficulties in the procedural learning system could contribute, in part, to the language ... [more ▼]

Previous studies (Lum et al., 2009; Tomblin et al., 2007; Ullman & Pierpont, 2005) have suggested that difficulties in the procedural learning system could contribute, in part, to the language difficulties observed in children with SLI. However, we have recently shown, with a classical serial reaction time (SRT) task, that children with SLI are able to learn implicitly non-linguistic statistical regularities (Gabriel et al., 2010). The aim of the present study was to explore whether children with SLI could learn similar statistical regularities with non-linguistic auditory stimuli. For this purpose, we compared performance of children with SLI and controls in two adapted SRT tasks: a visual SRT task and a non-verbal auditory SRT task. [less ▲]

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See detailWhat is the impact of the sequence structure on implicit learning in children?
Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Schmitz, Xavier ULg; Lempereur, Stéphanie et al

Poster (2010, May 28)

It is generally admitted that implicit learning abilities are efficient early in childhood. However, few studies have explored the impact of the structure of the sequence on children’s performance in ... [more ▼]

It is generally admitted that implicit learning abilities are efficient early in childhood. However, few studies have explored the impact of the structure of the sequence on children’s performance in implicit learning tasks. The current research was intended to examine sequence learning abilities in children by comparing sequences of different structural characteristics. [less ▲]

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See detailChildren with specific language impairment are impaired on implicit higher-order sequence learning, but not on implicit spatial context learning.
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Schmitz, Xavier; Maillart, Christelle ULg et al

Poster (2009, June 05)

In a recent review of the SLI literature it has been suggested that low language and grammatical abilities would be directly associated with poor learning abilities of nonverbal sequences (Ullman ... [more ▼]

In a recent review of the SLI literature it has been suggested that low language and grammatical abilities would be directly associated with poor learning abilities of nonverbal sequences (Ullman & Pierpont, 2005; Tomblin et al., 2007). Therefore, one could hypothesize that a general purpose sequential pattern tracker could determine some aspects of language and grammar learning. In the present study, 15 children with SLI and 15 matched control children were compared on two implicit learning tasks: an alternating serial response time task in which sequential dependencies exist across non-adjacent elements, and a spatial context learning task in which the global configuration of a display cues the location of a searched target (Chun & Jiang, 1998). We predict that children with SLI will show impaired sequence learning and normal spatial context learning. By confirming the presence of a specific deficit in sequential learning processes, the present study should contribute to better understand the language abilities, and in particular the grammatical difficulties, of individuals with specific language impairment. [less ▲]

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See detailConstruction and Validation of a Phonological Awareness Test Battery for Nursery School Pre-Reading Children
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Poncelet, Martine ULg

Poster (2008, May 26)

Many studies have shown that the level of development of phonological skills at nursery school is a good indicator of future success in reading acquisition. The aim of this project was to construct and ... [more ▼]

Many studies have shown that the level of development of phonological skills at nursery school is a good indicator of future success in reading acquisition. The aim of this project was to construct and validate a comprehensive phonological awareness test battery for French speaking children. For preschool-level French speaking children, validated phonological awareness test batteries are still lacking. A longitudinal study design was used from a sample of sixty-four children provided education for in the French Community of Belgium. The battery was designed to assess phonological awareness at the rhyme, syllable and phoneme level. A further characteristic of this battery was to use attractive pictorial material enhancing task compliance, and to use identification tasks targeting epiphonological processes as well as manipulation tasks targeting metaphonological processes. At first grade, the same children were given spelling and reading tests in order to determinate the predictif characteristic of this battery. This article briefly presents normative data of the most predictive and discerning tasks of future success in reading and spelling acquisition. [less ▲]

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See detailAltération des traitements séquentiels chez les enfants dysphasiques
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Maillart, Christelle ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg

Poster (2008, May 15)

Contexte : Peu de travaux ont été consacrés au développement des habiletés non linguistiques des enfants dysphasiques. Ce constat est paradoxal car des études montrent que les enfants porteurs de troubles ... [more ▼]

Contexte : Peu de travaux ont été consacrés au développement des habiletés non linguistiques des enfants dysphasiques. Ce constat est paradoxal car des études montrent que les enfants porteurs de troubles dits « spécifiques » présentent d’autres troubles non langagiers associés, notamment des troubles séquentiels (Ellis Weismer et al., 2005). D’un point de vue clinique, le pronostic concernant leur évolution semblerait parfois plus lié aux résultats obtenus aux épreuves non linguistiques (particulièrement celles impliquant un traitement séquentiel) qu’à la sévérité du déficit langagier ou à des caractéristiques langagières précises. Objectifs : Ce projet vise une meilleure compréhension de l’implication des traitements séquentiels dans l’origine de cette pathologie à des fins d’éclaircissement de l’étiologie et d’optimisation de prise en charge de ces patients, parfois très hétérogènes. Méthodologie : Apprentissage d’informations séquentielles et simultanées présentées visuellement et évaluation de son maintien auprès d’enfants dysphasiques âgés entre 6 et 12 ans, appariés à des sujets contrôles au niveau de l’âge chronologique et du QIP. Résultats : les résultats seront discutés ultérieurement. Toutefois, nous émettons l’hypothèse que les enfants dysphasiques obtiendraient des performances en dessous de la moyenne des enfants de même âge chronologique à toutes les épreuves faisant appel à un traitement séquentiel, contrairement aux épreuves faisant appel au traitement simultané. Conclusion : Les tâches qui requerraient un traitement séquentiel seraient altérées chez les enfants dysphasiques. Ceci n’a rien de surprenant étant donné que le langage est lui-même une activité séquentielle dans laquelle le mot constitue un ordre défini de phonèmes (Keele et al., 2003). [less ▲]

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