The proposed research investigates the growth of language and reading skills during the elementary school years in a group of 40 children with unilateral pre- or perinatal lesions (PL) whose preschool language development has been studied longitudinally since the preschool years. By continuing to follow the same group of children during elementary school, we have a unique opportunity to investigate whether functional plasticity for early language skills extends to more complex oral and written language skills. In Study I, we examine language and reading development from kindergarten through 4th grade in relation to children's lesion characteristics. Together with the preschool data, this will provide language growth trajectories from 14 months to 10 years. In Study 2, we examine how brain-injured children use gesture to support more complex language skills, and whether they use gesture in a compensatory manner. In Study 3, we use hierarchical linear modeling to examine the importance of children's preschool growth trajectories, preschool input, and lesion characteristics in predicting their later language and reading development. The data collected in Projects I and II will serve as a normative base for these studies of brain-injured children. This research will add to our knowledge about development in the face of early brain injury in several ways. First, it will provide needed information about the development of later language skills and reading in this population, skills that are important to school success. Second, it will provide information about the relation of early language trajectories to these later developing skills. Third, it will provide information about the role played by gesture in language learning. Finally, it will elucidate the joint effects of the biological characteristics of children's lesions and the language input they receive from primary caregivers on their language and reading development. The research has theoretical as well as practical implications. With respect to theory, our studies will help delineate the limits and extent of functional plasticity, allowing us to determine whether the plasticity observed for early language processes in the face of PL extends to more complex language and reading. With respect to application, characterizing the nature of caregiver-child language interactions that are effective in promoting the language skills of brain-injured children has obvious implications for intervention efforts.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Research Program Projects (P01)
Project #
5P01HD040605-10
Application #
8378101
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DSR-H)
Project Start
Project End
2013-11-30
Budget Start
2012-04-01
Budget End
2013-03-31
Support Year
10
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$159,644
Indirect Cost
$69,747
Name
University of Chicago
Department
Type
DUNS #
005421136
City
Chicago
State
IL
Country
United States
Zip Code
60637
Asaridou, Salomi S; Demir-Lira, Özlem Ece; Goldin-Meadow, Susan et al. (2016) The pace of vocabulary growth during preschool predicts cortical structure at school age. Neuropsychologia :
Trueswell, John C; Lin, Yi; Armstrong 3rd, Benjamin et al. (2016) Perceiving referential intent: Dynamics of reference in natural parent-child interactions. Cognition 148:117-35
Tune, Sarah; Schlesewsky, Matthias; Nagels, Arne et al. (2016) Sentence understanding depends on contextual use of semantic and real world knowledge. Neuroimage 136:10-25
Goldin-Meadow, Susan (2015) Gesture as a window onto communicative abilities: Implications for diagnosis and intervention. Perspect Lang Learn Educ 22:50-60
Abner, Natasha; Cooperrider, Kensy; Goldin-Meadow, Susan (2015) Gesture for Linguists: A Handy Primer. Lang Linguist Compass 9:437-451
Demir, Özlem Ece; Rowe, Meredith L; Heller, Gabriella et al. (2015) Vocabulary, syntax, and narrative development in typically developing children and children with early unilateral brain injury: early parental talk about the "there-and-then" matters. Dev Psychol 51:161-75
Goldin-Meadow, Susan (2015) Studying the mechanisms of language learning by varying the learning environment and the learner. Lang Cogn Neurosci 30:899-911
Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina; Schlesewsky, Matthias; Small, Steven L et al. (2015) Neurobiological roots of language in primate audition: common computational properties. Trends Cogn Sci 19:142-50
Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Brentari, Diane (2015) Gesture, sign and language: The coming of age of sign language and gesture studies. Behav Brain Sci :1-82
Treiman, Rebecca; Schmidt, John; Decker, Kristina et al. (2015) Parents' Talk About Letters With Their Young Children. Child Dev 86:1406-18

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