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    Fractionating nonword repetition: the contributions of short-term memory and oromotor praxis are different

    Krishnan, Saloni and Alcock, K.J. and Carey, Daniel and Bergström, L. and Karmiloff-Smith, Annette and Dick, Frederic (2017) Fractionating nonword repetition: the contributions of short-term memory and oromotor praxis are different. PLoS One 12 (7), e0178356. ISSN 1932-6203.

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    The ability to reproduce novel words is a sensitive marker of language impairment across a variety of developmental disorders. Nonword repetition tasks are thought to reflect phonological short-term memory skills. Yet, when children hear and then utter a word for the first time, they must transform a novel speech signal into a series of coordinated, precisely timed oral movements. Little is known about how children’s oromotor speed, planning and co-ordination abilities might influence their ability to repeat novel nonwords, beyond the influence of higher-level cognitive and linguistic skills. In the present study, we tested 35 typically developing children between the ages of 5−8 years on measures of nonword repetition, digit span, memory for non-verbal sequences, reading fluency, oromotor praxis, and oral diadochokinesis. We found that oromotor praxis uniquely predicted nonword repetition ability in school-age children, and that the variance it accounted for was additional to that of digit span, memory for non-verbal sequences, articulatory rate (measured by oral diadochokinesis) as well as reading fluency. We conclude that the ability to compute and execute novel sensorimotor transformations affects the production of novel words. These results have important implications for understanding motor/language relations in neurodevelopmental disorders.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2017 14:27
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:34


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