Language and Cognition - Perspectives from Impairment – University of Copenhagen

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Language and Cognition - Perspectives from Impairment (LaCPI)

Researchers: Elisabeth Engberg-Pedersen, Rikke Vang ChristensenHanne Trebbien Daugaard and Ditte Boeg Thomsen

The aim of this project is to investigate how cognitive and linguistic profiles relate to language use, reading comprehension and attention to linguistic form. Insights from this area can contribute to improving clinical work with children with communication difficulties.

We focus on children with three types of difficulties and compare the groups with each other and with typically-developing children. The three clinical groups are:

  • Children with autism, but with no linguistic delay;
  • Children with poor reading comprehension who are not dyslectic; and
  • Children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI).

Children with autism seem to have difficulties with imagining how other people perceive a situation and their mental states, and difficulties with perceiving complex situations from a central perspective. Apparently, they share the latter characteristic with children who have difficulties with understanding written texts because they do not draw the inferences required to make the texts coherent. These so-called poor comprehenders do not, however, have the social - interactional - difficulties that are also characteristic of children with autism. SLI is an impairment of language production (and comprehension) that cannot readily be attributed to other deficits, but nevertheless seems to be accompanied by cognitive difficulties.

By comparing the language use of these three groups of children we aim to obtain insights into the relationship between cognition and specific linguistic skills, and into what characterises the children's language use. We wish to concentrate on:

  • The children's comprehension of linguistic expressions of a specific point of view and their use of such expressions;
  • Their skills in drawing inferences during text reading;
  • Their attention to linguistic form; and
  • The possible influence on false-belief understanding from training complement clauses.

Page one of a test developed by Ditte Boeg Thomsen and Elisabeth Engberg-Pedersen. The pictographic symbols used are a property of CATEDU(http://catedu.es/arasaac /) under Creative Common’s License, and they have been created by Sergio Palao

Page one of a test developed by Ditte Boeg Thomsen and Elisabeth Engberg-Pedersen. The pictographic symbols used are a property of CATEDU(http://catedu.es/arasaac /) under Creative Common’s License, and they have been created by Sergio Palao