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Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate if higher quantity, diversity, and grammatical informativeness of verb phrases in parent follow-in utterances (i.e., utterances that mapped onto child attentional leads) were significantly related to later expressive verb vocabulary in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Method We examined these associations in a sample of 31 toddlers with ASD and their parents in a longitudinal correlational study. Key aspects of parents' verb input were measured in 2 video-recorded 15-min parent-child free-play sessions. Child expressive verb vocabulary was measured using parent report. Results An aggregate variable composed of the quantity, diversity, and grammatical informativeness of parent verb input in follow-in utterances across the 2 parent-child sessions strongly and positively predicted later child expressive verb vocabulary, total R = .25, even when early child expressive verb vocabulary was controlled, R change = .17. Parent follow-in utterances without verbs were not significantly related to later child expressive verb vocabulary, R = .001. Conclusions These correlational findings are initial steps toward developing a knowledge base for how strong verb vocabulary skills might be facilitated in children with ASD.
BACKGROUND - Targeting the frequency or complexity of prelinguistic vocalizations might improve the language trajectory of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who exhibit continued expressive language deficits.
AIMS - This meta-analysis evaluates the strength of the association between various measures of vocalizations and expressive language in young children with ASD and five putative moderators of that association to inform prelinguistic intervention development: consonant-centricity, communicativeness, concurrent versus longitudinal research design, risk for correlated measurement error, and publication status.
METHODS AND PROCEDURES - We systematically searched databases and other sources for correlations between vocalizations and expressive language in children with ASD less than 9 years old. Using robust variance estimation, we calculated the weighted mean effect size and conducted moderator analyses.
OUTCOMES AND RESULTS - Nine studies (19 reports), which included 362 participants and 109 unique effect sizes, met inclusion criteria. The weighted mean effect size between vocalizations and expressive language was significant (r=0.50, 95% CI [0.23, 0.76]). As predicted, concurrent correlations were significantly stronger than longitudinal correlations. Other moderator effects were not detected.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS - Young children with ASD demonstrate a strong association between vocalizations and expressive language skills. Future experimental studies should investigate causal relations to guide intervention development.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This study examined sequential associations between child play and caregiver talk in 98 caregiver-child dyads (M = 14 months). Fifty dyads included a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Analyses revealed sequential associations between child play and caregiver follow-in (FI) utterances (utterances related to the child's attentional focus) were stronger in the ASD as compared to the typically developing (TD) group. FI utterances were more likely to elicit functional play than caregiver-focused utterances, and more so in the ASD group. Across groups, FI directives were more likely to elicit functional play than FI comments. These findings have important implications for research involving caregiver-child play as an early intervention context for children with ASD.
© 2017 The Authors. Child Development © 2017 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Syntactic processing deficits are highly variable in individuals with primary progressive aphasia. Damage to left inferior frontal cortex has been associated with syntactic deficits in primary progressive aphasia in a number of structural and functional neuroimaging studies. However, a contrasting picture of a broader syntactic network has emerged from neuropsychological studies in other aphasic cohorts, and functional imaging studies in healthy controls. To reconcile these findings, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the functional neuroanatomy of syntactic comprehension in 51 individuals with primary progressive aphasia, composed of all clinical variants and a range of degrees of syntactic processing impairment. We used trial-by-trial reaction time as a proxy for syntactic processing load, to determine which regions were modulated by syntactic processing in each patient, and how the set of regions recruited was related to whether syntactic processing was ultimately successful or unsuccessful. Relationships between functional abnormalities and patterns of cortical atrophy were also investigated. We found that the individual degree of syntactic comprehension impairment was predicted by left frontal atrophy, but also by functional disruption of a broader syntactic processing network, comprising left posterior frontal cortex, left posterior temporal cortex, and the left intraparietal sulcus and adjacent regions. These regions were modulated by syntactic processing in healthy controls and in patients with primary progressive aphasia with relatively spared syntax, but they were modulated to a lesser extent or not at all in primary progressive aphasia patients whose syntax was relatively impaired. Our findings suggest that syntactic comprehension deficits in primary progressive aphasia reflect not only structural and functional changes in left frontal cortex, but also disruption of a wider syntactic processing network.
© The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
PURPOSE - To evaluate how flow territory asymmetry and/or the distribution of blood through collateral pathways may adversely affect the brain's ability to respond to age-related changes in brain function. These patterns have been investigated in cerebrovascular disease; however, here we evaluated how flow-territory asymmetry related to memory generally in older adults.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - A multi-faceted MRI protocol, including vessel-encoded arterial spin labeling capable of flow territory mapping, was applied to assess how flow territory asymmetry; memory performance (CERAD-Immediate Recall); cortical cerebral blood flow (CBF), white matter lesion (WML) count, and cortical gray matter volume were related in older healthy control volunteers (HC; n = 15; age = 64.5 ± 7 years) and age-matched mild cognitive impairment volunteers (MCI; n = 7; age = 62.7 ± 3.7 years).
RESULTS - An inverse relationship was found between memory performance and flow territory asymmetry in HC volunteers (P = 0.04), which reversed in MCI volunteers (P = 0.04). No relationship was found between memory performance and cortical tissue volume in either group (P > 0.05). Group-level differences for HC volunteers performing above versus below average on CERAD-I were observed for flow territory asymmetry (P < 0.02) and cortical volume (P < 0.05) only.
CONCLUSION - Findings suggest that flow territory asymmetry may correlate more sensitively with memory performance than CBF, atrophy and WML count in older adults.
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Functional imaging research has yielded evidence of changes in poor readers after instructional intervention. Although it is well established that within the group of children with poor reading there are differences in behavioral response to intervention, little is know about the functional correlates of responsiveness. Therefore, we acquired functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data from children identified as "at risk for reading disability" who responded differently to a reading intervention (5 responders; 5 nonresponders; 4 controls). Groups differed in activation level of the left hemisphere posterior superior temporal and the middle temporal gyri, suggesting that future imaging studies should consider responders and nonresponders separately.
We analyze the hypothesis that some individuals on the autism spectrum may use visual mental representations and processes to perform certain tasks that typically developing individuals perform verbally. We present a framework for interpreting empirical evidence related to this "Thinking in Pictures" hypothesis and then provide comprehensive reviews of data from several different cognitive tasks, including the n-back task, serial recall, dual task studies, Raven's Progressive Matrices, semantic processing, false belief tasks, visual search, spatial recall, and visual recall. We also discuss the relationships between the Thinking in Pictures hypothesis and other cognitive theories of autism including Mindblindness, Executive Dysfunction, Weak Central Coherence, and Enhanced Perceptual Functioning.
We examined the Simple View of reading from a behavioral genetic perspective. Two aspects of word decoding (phonological decoding and word recognition), two aspects of oral language skill (listening comprehension and vocabulary), and reading comprehension were assessed in a twin sample at age 9. Using latent factor models, we found that overlap among phonological decoding, word recognition, listening comprehension, vocabulary, and reading comprehension was primarily due to genetic influences. Shared environmental influences accounted for associations among word recognition, listening comprehension, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Independent of phonological decoding and word recognition, there was a separate genetic link between listening comprehension, vocabulary, and reading comprehension and a specific shared environmental link between vocabulary and reading comprehension. There were no residual genetic or environmental influences on reading comprehension. The findings provide evidence for a genetic basis to the "Simple View" of reading.
OBJECTIVE - To examine the acceptability and feasibility of coding observed verbal and nonverbal behavioral and emotional components of mother-child communication among families of children with cancer.
METHODS - Mother-child dyads (N=33, children ages 5-17 years) were asked to engage in a videotaped 15-min conversation about the child's cancer. Coding was done using the Iowa Family Interaction Rating Scale (IFIRS).
RESULTS - Acceptability and feasibility of direct observation in this population were partially supported: 58% consented and 81% of those (47% of all eligible dyads) completed the task; trained raters achieved 78% agreement in ratings across codes. The construct validity of the IFIRS was demonstrated by expected associations within and between positive and negative behavioral/emotional code ratings and between mothers' and children's corresponding code ratings.
CONCLUSIONS - Direct observation of mother-child communication about childhood cancer has the potential to be an acceptable and feasible method of assessing verbal and nonverbal behavior and emotion in this population.
Reading disability (RD) typically consists of deficits in word reading accuracy and/or reading comprehension. While it is well known that word reading accuracy deficits lead to comprehension deficits (general reading disability, GRD), less is understood about neuropsychological profiles of children who exhibit adequate word reading accuracy but nevertheless develop specific reading comprehension deficits (S-RCD). Establishing the underlying neuropsychological processes associated with different RD types is essential for ultimately understanding core neurobiological bases of reading comprehension. To this end, the present study investigated isolated and contextual word fluency, oral language, and executive function on reading comprehension performance in 56 9- to 14-year-old children [21 typically developing (TD), 18 GRD, and 17 S-RCD]. Results indicated that TD and S-RCD participants read isolated words at a faster rate than participants with GRD; however, both RD groups had contextual word fluency and oral language weaknesses. Additionally, S-RCD participants showed prominent weaknesses in executive function. Implications for understanding the neuropsychological bases for reading comprehension are discussed.