Working Memory and Interference Control in Children with Specific Language Impairment


Language and communication disorders are often associated with deficits in working memory (WM) and interference control. WM studies involving children with specific language impairment (SLI) have traditionally been framed using either resource theories or decay accounts, particularly Baddeley's model. Although significant interference problems in children with SLI are apparent in error analysis data from WM and language tasks, interference theories and paradigms have not been widely used in the SLI literature. A primary goal of the present paper is to provide an overview of interference deficits in children with SLI. Review of the extant literature on interference control shows deficits in this population; however, the source and the nature of the deficit remain unclear. Thus, a second key aim in our review is to demonstrate the need for theoretically driven experimental paradigms in order to better understand individual variations associated with interference weaknesses in children with SLI.

Publication Title

Language and Linguistics Compass