Heidi M. Feldman

Publication Details

  • Online measures of basic language skills in children with early focal brain lesions BRAIN AND LANGUAGE MacWhinney, B., Feldman, H., Sacco, K., Valdes-Perez, R. 2000; 71 (3): 400-431


    Twenty children with early focal lesions were compared with 150 age-matched control subjects on 11 online measures of the basic skills underlying language processing, a digit span task, and 6 standardized measures. Although most of the children with brain injury scored within the normal range on the majority of the tasks, they also had a disproportionately high number of outlier scores on the reaction time tests. This evidence for a moderate impairment of the basic skills underlying language processing contrasts with other evidence suggesting that these children acquire normal control of the functional use of language. Furthermore, these children scored within the normal range on a measure of general cognitive ability, suggesting that there is no particular sparing of linguistic functions at the expense of general cognitive functions. Using the MPD procedure (Valdés-Pérez & Pericliev, 1997), we found that the controls and the five clinical groups could be best distinguished with two measures of online processing (word repetition and visual number naming) and one standardized test subcomponent (the CELF Oral Directions subtest). The 12 children with left hemisphere lesions scored significantly lower than the 8 other children on the CELF-RS measure. Within the group of children with cerebral infarct, the nature of the processing disability could be linked fairly well to site of lesion. Otherwise, there was little relation between site or size of lesion and the pattern of deficit. These results support a model in which damage to the complex functional circuits subserving language leads to only minor deficits in process efficiency, because of the plasticity of developmental processes.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000085835100004

    View details for PubMedID 10716870

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