Language Impairment | Action Medical Research | Children's Charity | Children's Charity

Language impairment

This research was completed on 31 August 2003

Project LeaderProfessor V E Newton, MBChB, MSc, MD, Mrs C Adams, BSc, MSc, Dr A U Ahmmed, FRCS and Dr D Parker, PhD.
LocationCentre for Human Communication and Deafness, University of Manchester.
Grant awarded11 March 1999
Start date1 September 1999
End date31 August 2003
Grant amount£123,229.00
Grant codeSP3425

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Specific language impairment (SLI) is a term used to describe those able bodied children who have difficulty with the development of language. There have been attempts to demonstrate that SLI is explained by a disorder in processing auditory (hearing) information in the incoming speech signal, but traditional hearing tests are not appropriate for this purpose. This team propose to assess a group of SLI children, looking at their ability to discriminate between speech sounds using a measurement known as mismatch negativity (MMN). This is a recording of electrical activity in the brain in response to a set of pre-recorded speech and other sounds. By incorporating control groups (matched for language ability and age) they are attempting to confirm that a group of SLI children will have a different or absent MMN and that this cannot be explained by poor language skills alone. This project should shed light on the problems faced by these children, help with diagnosing SLI and also lead to rehabilitation programmes.

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