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    The development of sentence interpretation: effects of perceptual, attentional and semantic interference

    Leech, R. and Aydelott, J. and Symons, G. and Carnevale, J. and Dick, Frederic (2007) The development of sentence interpretation: effects of perceptual, attentional and semantic interference. Developmental Science 10 (6), pp. 794-813. ISSN 1363-755X.

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    How does the development and consolidation of perceptual, attentional, and higher cognitive abilities interact with language acquisition and processing? We explored children's (ages 5–17) and adults’ (ages 18–51) comprehension of morphosyntactically varied sentences under several competing speech conditions that varied in the degree of attentional demands, auditory masking, and semantic interference. We also evaluated the relationship between subjects’ syntactic comprehension and their word reading efficiency and general ‘speed of processing’. We found that the interactions between perceptual and attentional processes and complex sentence interpretation changed considerably over the course of development. Perceptual masking of the speech signal had an early and lasting impact on comprehension, particularly for more complex sentence structures. In contrast, increased attentional demand in the absence of energetic auditory masking primarily affected younger children's comprehension of difficult sentence types. Finally, the predictability of syntactic comprehension abilities by external measures of development and expertise is contingent upon the perceptual, attentional, and semantic milieu in which language processing takes place.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2019 11:57
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:55


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