Brain Waves Aid Study of Language Impairment

Mar 09, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- By looking at how the brain responds to different aspects of grammar, specifically nouns and verbs, researchers at the UT Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders are hoping to provide a better understanding of the nature of language disorders in children.

Dr. Diane Ogiela, a post-doctoral fellow at the Callier Center and principal investigator of the study, is using brain waves to study the nature of Specific Language Impairment (SLI) in children. Children with SLI have difficulty in while appearing to have otherwise normal . Grammar is particularly challenging for children with SLI.

“We know that children with a language impairment have difficulty with verbs, which play an important part in developing more complex language skills,” said Ogiela. “By using electroencepholography, also called EEG, we can analyze the brain waves to see how children with language impairment respond to verbs as compared to nouns and to what extent their responses vary from children with typical language.”

To measure the , the researchers place a cap embedded with sensors on the head of a participant. The participant then listens to recorded sentences that elicit neurological responses to particular nouns and verbs. The researchers then analyze and compare those responses.

“By looking at the neurological response that children have to nouns and verbs, we can see if the brain processes the two types of words with the same speed, with the same part of the brain and with the same level of consistency in both the children with and without language impairment,” said Ogiela.

Ogiela hopes the information collected from the study will be used to develop more focused therapy strategies for addressing grammar problems in children with language impairment.

“Children with language impairment tend to have difficulty expressing themselves and understanding complex language. But with focused therapy that targets the specific problem, they may be able to learn how to compensate for some of those difficulties,” said Ogiela.

Explore further: Design of micro and nanoparticles to improve treatments for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How the brain copes in language-impaired kids

Mar 12, 2008

Researchers at UCL (University College London) have discovered that a system in the brain for processing grammar is impaired in some children with specific language impairment (SLI), but that these children compensate with ...

How listeners perceive verbs

Jan 29, 2007

The verb forms the heart of a sentence. Although a lot of research has been done into the role that verbs play during the transfer of information, less is known about exactly how and when the listener or reader uses this ...

Toddlers develop individualized rules for grammar

Oct 05, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Using advanced computer modeling and statistical analysis, a University of Texas at Austin linguistics professor has found that toddlers develop their own individual structures for using language that are ...

Study looks at how children learn new words

Nov 15, 2007

Is it a plane? Is it a car? Is it a thingywhatsit? A new research project at the University of Sussex (UK) aims to find out more about how children acquire language.

World-first device may help solve child language mystery

Oct 07, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers are one step closer to understanding why children can learn languages far more easily than adults, thanks to a world-first device that allows scientists to measure the magnetic ...

Recommended for you

Myelin vital for learning new practical skills

Oct 16, 2014

New evidence of myelin's essential role in learning and retaining new practical skills, such as playing a musical instrument, has been uncovered by UCL research. Myelin is a fatty substance that insulates ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

0c4pnh4nk
not rated yet Mar 22, 2010
Can you guys start citing where you find this stuff? It's very useful for us students.

Pretty Please?