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Modelling language acquisition in atypical phenotypes

Thomas, Michael S.C. and Karmiloff-Smith, Annette (2003) Modelling language acquisition in atypical phenotypes. Psychological Review 110 (4), pp. 647-682. ISSN 0033-295x.

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An increasing number of connectionist models have been proposed to explain behavioural deficits in developmental disorders. These simulations motivate serious consideration of the theoretical implications of the claim that a developmental disorder fits within the parameter space of a particular computational model. We examine these issues in depth with respect to a series of new simulations investigating past tense formation in Williams syndrome (WS). This syndrome and the past tense domain are highly relevant since both have been used to make strong theoretical claims about the processes underlying normal language acquisition. We examine differences between the static neuropsychological approach to genetic disorders and the neuroconstructivist perspective which focuses on the dynamics of the developmental trajectory. Then, more widely, we explore the advantages and disadvantages of using computational models to explain deficits in developmental disorders. We conclude that such models have huge potential because they focus on the developmental process itself as a pivotal causal factor in the phenotypic outcomes in these disorders.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Williams Syndrome, developmental disorders, past tense formation, connectionism, phonological representations, lexical semantic representations
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Sarah Hall
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2012 14:20
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 12:00

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