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    Intervening to alleviate word-finding difficulties in children: case series data and a computational modelling foundation

    Best, A. and Fedor, Anna and Hughes, L. and Kapikian, A. and Masterson, J. and Roncoli, S. and Fern-Pollak, L. and Thomas, Michael S.C. (2015) Intervening to alleviate word-finding difficulties in children: case series data and a computational modelling foundation. Cognitive Neuropsychology 32 (3-4), pp. 133-168. ISSN 0264-3294.

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    We evaluated a simple computational model of productive vocabulary acquisition, applied to simulating two case studies of 7-year-old children with developmental word-finding difficulties across four core behavioural tasks. Developmental models were created, which captured the deficits of each child. In order to predict the effects of intervention, we exposed the computational models to simulated behavioural interventions of two types, targeting the improvement of either phonological or semantic knowledge. The model was then evaluated by testing the predictions from the simulations against the actual results from an intervention study carried out with the two children. For one child it was predicted that the phonological intervention would be effective, and the semantic intervention would not. This was borne out in the behavioural study. For the second child, the predictions were less clear and depended on the nature of simulated damage to the model. The behavioural study found an effect of semantic but not phonological intervention. Through an explicit computational simulation, we therefore employed intervention data to evaluate our theoretical understanding of the processes underlying acquisition of lexical items for production and how they may vary in children with developmental language difficulties.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Cognitive Neuropsychology in February 2015, available online:
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): intervention, word-finding difficulties, connectionist modelling, phonology, semantics, naming
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Educational Neuroscience, Centre for, Birkbeck Knowledge Lab, Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2015 14:10
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:15


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