Learning and memory performance of children with specific language impairment (SLI)

Appl Neuropsychol. 2007;14(4):255-61. doi: 10.1080/09084280701719203.


The purpose of this study was to examine learning and memory in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) as compared to 30 normally functioning children on the Children's Memory Scale. Results indicated that children in the SLI group exhibited impaired performance on the Attention/Concentration Index (working memory), as well as significantly lower scores on both the immediate and delayed auditory/verbal indices and subtests relative to the control group. In contrast, no between group differences emerged for the visual/non-verbal indices and subtests. Results demonstrated that children with SLI possess normal ability to process, maintain and manipulate visual/non-verbal information in working memory along with normal ability to store and retrieve visual/non-verbal material from long-term storage. These results provide support for the contention that children with SLI have a "diminished verbal capacity" to process, organize, and maintain auditory information in working memory.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language Disorders / psychology*
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Verbal Behavior / physiology