Auditory lexical decisions in children with specific language impairment

Sharon L. Crosbie*, David Howard, Barbara J. Dodd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined spoken-word recognition in children with specific language impairment (SLI) and normally developing children matched separately for age and receptive language ability. Accuracy and reaction times on an auditory lexical decision task were compared. Children with SLI were less accurate than both control groups. Two subgroups of children with SLI, distinguished by performance accuracy only, were identified. One group performed within normal limits, while a second group was significantly less accurate. Children with SLI were not slower than the age-matched controls or language-matched controls. Further, the time taken to detect an auditory signal, make a decision, or initiate a verbal response did not account for the differences between the groups. The findings are interpreted as evidence for language-appropriate processing skills acting upon imprecise or underspecified stored representations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-121
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

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