Statistical learning in specific language impairment and Autism Spectrum Disorder: a meta-analysis
Obeid, Rita, Brooks, Patricia J., Powers, Kasey L., Gillespie-Lynch, Kristen and Lum, Jarrad A. G. 2016, Statistical learning in specific language impairment and Autism Spectrum Disorder: a meta-analysis, Frontiers in psychology, vol. 7, pp. 1-18, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01245.
Impairments in statistical learning might be a common deficit among individuals with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Using meta-analysis, we examined statistical learning in SLI (14 studies, 15 comparisons) and ASD (13 studies, 20 comparisons) to evaluate this hypothesis. Effect sizes were examined as a function of diagnosis across multiple statistical learning tasks (Serial Reaction Time, Contextual Cueing, Artificial Grammar Learning, Speech Stream, Observational Learning, and Probabilistic Classification). Individuals with SLI showed deficits in statistical learning relative to age-matched controls. In contrast, statistical learning was intact in individuals with ASD relative to controls. Effect sizes did not vary as a function of task modality or participant age. Our findings inform debates about overlapping social-communicative difficulties in children with SLI and ASD by suggesting distinct underlying mechanisms. In line with the procedural deficit hypothesis (Ullman and Pierpont, 2005), impaired statistical learning may account for phonological and syntactic difficulties associated with SLI. In contrast, impaired statistical learning fails to account for the social-pragmatic difficulties associated with ASD.
Field of Research
170204 Linguistic Processes (incl Speech Production and Comprehension) 1701 Psychology
Socio Economic Objective
970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
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