The cognitive function and structure of language processing in children with SLI: A neuropsycholinguistic investigation

Questions concerning the validity of SLI subgroups and whether domain-specific or domain-general mechanisms underlie language processing are the focus of work funding by the Wellcome Trust, commencing in 2002. Recent work using event related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the neural correlates of sentence processing in children (Friederici & colleagues) has led us to plan work on the neural instantiation of syntactic and semantic processing in SLI and normally developing children. This work, to be carried out in collaboration with Professors Angela Friederici (director of the Max-Planck Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Leipzig), Johnson & Csibra (Birkbeck) examines the syntactic and semantic processing of spoken sentences and the effects of general cognitive load on sentence processing in the G-SLI and WF-SLI subgroups. The research will test competing hypotheses of SLI (the RDDR vs. Input-processing deficit hypotheses). By applying cognitive-neuroscience methods to the study of SLI, we aim to examine basic research questions through the study of language pathologies. Several projects being carried out by postdoctoral fellow and as part of doctoral studies are directly related to this work which is central to the centre.

back to research index