Heidi M. Feldman

Publication Details

  • Sentence processing in children with early unilateral brain injury BRAIN AND LANGUAGE Feldman, H. M., MacWhinney, B., Sacco, K. 2002; 83 (2): 335-352

    Abstract:

    This study examined how children use word order and animacy cues to determine the agent of the action in an on-line sentence-comprehension task. The subject group included 15 children, 5-12 years old, with brain injury incurred prior to the age of 2 months; 12 had left hemisphere (LH) damage and 3 had right hemisphere (RH) damage. The comparison group included 141 children, 5-10 years old, who were at the appropriate grade for age. The task required children to listen to sentences composed of two noun phrases (N) that varied in terms of animacy and a verb phrase (V) and then to indicate the agent of the action. Three word orders were presented: NVN, VNN, and NNV. Measures included the proportion of trials in which the first noun was selected (choice) and reaction time. Word order and animacy significantly influenced choice. The effect of subject group approached significance for choice. Word order and age influenced reaction time. The children with LH injury and two children with RH injury showed a developmental delay in choosing the appropriate N as agent; one child with RH injury had mature responses. The overlapping performance of children with LH and RH injury suggests that delays in the development of sentence comprehension strategies are more likely related to reliance on a smaller than usual neural network rather than to congenital specialization of the LH.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000178828600007

    View details for PubMedID 12387801

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