The present study was designed to explore the general cognitive mechanisms in WM that are often found to be impaired in children with DLD. A continuous auditory N-back task was used to probe cognitive abilities such as sustained attention, storage, updating, and inhibition in monolingual TD children and children with DLD. FNIRS was used to examine the hemodynamic response patterns in the left DLPFC and IPL as children performed 0-back, 1-back, and 2-back tasks. The 0-back task was used in our analysis as a control for sustained attention. The research questions were: 1) Are there differences in N-back response accuracy and response time between children in the DLD and TD groups? 2) Are there changes in oxygenated hemoglobin (O2hb) concentration values in left DLPFC and IPL as a function of group (TD, DLD) or task (1-back, 2-back)? 3) Do O2hb values in the left DLPFC or IPL predict accuracy and response time in children with and without DLD?
Lillywhite Endowment to USU
Utah State University
For the fNIRS task, we administered an auditory N-back task that consisted of three blocks: 0-back, 1-back, and 2-back. Children heard a stream of letters that contained “P”, “Q”, “R”, and “S”. In the 0-back task, for each auditory item, children were asked to press the key that indicated the letter that was heard. In the 1-back task, children were asked to press the key that indicated the letter presented one item before the current item. Finally, in the 2-back task, children were asked to press the key whenever the item they heard was the same as the one that occurred two items before the current item. Analyses focused on the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and left inferior parietal lobule (IPL). Multi-level models were constructed with accuracy, response time and O2hb as outcome measures, with 0-back outcomes as fixed effects to control for sustained attention.
Hancock, A., Warren, C., Barrett, T., Bolton, D., & Gillam, R.B (2023). fNIRS Measures of Neural Activity in Children with and Without Developmental Language Disorder During a Working Memory Task". Brain and Behavior.
Speech Pathology and Audiology
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Gillam, R. (2023). N-back Accuracy and Neural Activation in DLD [Data set]. Utah State University. https://doi.org/10.26078/ZKS9-TK94
Additional FilesREADME File for N-back dataset.txt (2 kB)
zerobackcovariate.csv (461 kB)
zerobackcovariatediffROI.csv (154 kB)