SRCLD 2022 SRCLD Presentation Details
    Profiles of Memory Span: A Microanalysis of Span Elucidates Developmental Dyslexia With and Without Specific Language Impairment  
Nelson Cowan - University of Missouri
Tiffany Hogan - MGH Institute of Health Professions
Mary Alt - University of Arizona
Sam Green - Arizona State University
Kathryn Cabbage - MGH Institute of Health Professions
Shara Brinkley - Arizona State University
Shelley Gray - Arizona State University

SRCLD Year: 2016
Presentation Type: Special Session
Presentation Time: (na)
Psychometric tests are useful for understanding developmental disorders, but their value can be greatly improved through close attention to how specific task demands affect well-defined subpopulations. We show that one can learn a great deal about working memory in children with dyslexia using simple memory span tasks, by varying participant characteristics, stimuli, procedures, and measures. The three participant groups included those with both dyslexia and specific language impairment (dyslexia+SLI), their peers with dyslexia only, and their peers with typical development. Three types of stimuli used for memory span tasks included spoken digits, spatial locations, and irregular shapes. For each type, memory test procedures included the traditional span task and running span, in which few mnemonic strategies can be used. Several complementary dependent measures were used (e.g., scoring that ignored or considered serial position information). These systematic combinations of conditions go far beyond previous studies. We show benefits of this tightly controlled subtest battery as a bridge between experimental and psychometric approaches and find language-specific factors in dyslexia along with domain-general processing issues exacerbated by concomitant SLI.
Author Biosketch(es)