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    Modeling mechanisms of persisting and resolving delay in language development

    Thomas, Michael S.C. and Knowland, Victoria C.P. (2014) Modeling mechanisms of persisting and resolving delay in language development. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 57 , pp. 467-483. ISSN 1092-4388.

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    Abstract

    - Purpose: This study employed neural network modeling to investigate the possible mechanistic basis of developmental language delay and test the viability of the hypotheses that persisting delay (PD) and resolving delay (RD) lie on a mechanistic continuum with normal development. - Method: A population modeling approach was used to study individual rates of development in 1000 simulated individuals acquiring a notional language domain (here represented by English past tense). Variation was caused by differences in internal neurocomputational learning parameters, as well as the richness of the language environment. An early language delay group was diagnosed and individual trajectories then traced. - Results: Quantitative variations in learning mechanisms were sufficient to produce PD and RD subgroups in similar proportions to empirical observations. In the model, persistent language delay was caused by limitations in processing capacity, while resolving delay was caused by low plasticity. Richness of the language environment did not predict the emergence of PD, but did predict the final ability levels of individuals with RD. - Conclusion: Mechanistically, it is viable that PD and RD are only quantitatively different. There may be an interaction between environmental factors and outcome groups, with individuals with RD influenced more by the richness of the language environment.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Language delay, socio-economic status, artificial neural networks, population modeling, computational capacity, plasticity
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Research Centre: Educational Neuroscience, Centre for, Birkbeck Knowledge Lab, Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2013 13:21
    Last Modified: 09 Dec 2016 11:15
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/8484

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