The proposed studies are designed to systematically examine auditory and visual attention in children with specific language impairment (SLI) using behavioral and event related potential (ERP) measures and to test the hypothesis that auditory attention is selectively impacted in SLI. This modality specificity of the attention dysfunction in SLI will be assessed relative to two groups of children who are expected to evidence less variation in performance on attention tasks across the two modalities. One control group will be children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a disorder associated with significant disruption of attention, and the other will be non- impaired children with normal language and attention. Demonstrating a modality difference in attention skills in SLI would 1) suggest that the attention difficulties in SLI children can be qualitatively different from those seen in ADHD and consequently, might require different forms of intervention, especially with regards to medication, 2) raise the speculation that early measures of auditory attention might be useful in predicting which children would evidence difficulties with language acquisition, 3) strongly argue for the use of visual aids in language intervention, and 4) highlight the role of auditory attention in normal language acquisition.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BBBP-3 (01))
Program Officer
Cooper, Judith
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City College of New York
Schools of Arts and Sciences
New York
United States
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Gomes, Hilary; Duff, Martin; Ramos, Miguel et al. (2012) Auditory selective attention and processing in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Clin Neurophysiol 123:293-302
Meehan, Kevin B; Ueng-McHale, Jasmine Y; Reynoso, Joseph S et al. (2008) Self-regulation and internal resources in school-aged children with ADHD symptomatology: an investigation using the Rorschach inkblot method. Bull Menninger Clin 72:259-82
Dunn, Michelle A; Gomes, Hilary; Gravel, Judith (2008) Mismatch negativity in children with autism and typical development. J Autism Dev Disord 38:52-71
Massa, Jacqueline; Gomes, Hilary; Tartter, Vivien et al. (2008) Concordance rates between parent and teacher clinical evaluation of language fundamentals observational rating scale. Int J Lang Commun Disord 43:99-110
Gomes, Hilary; Barrett, Sophia; Duff, Martin et al. (2008) The effects of interstimulus interval on event-related indices of attention: an auditory selective attention test of perceptual load theory. Clin Neurophysiol 119:542-55
Gomes, Hilary; Wolfson, Virginia; Halperin, Jeffrey M (2007) Is there a selective relationship between language functioning and auditory attention in children? J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 29:660-8
Gomes, Hilary; Duff, Martin; Barnhardt, Jack et al. (2007) Development of auditory selective attention: event-related potential measures of channel selection and target detection. Psychophysiology 44:711-27
Molholm, Sophie; Gomes, Hilary; Lobosco, Jacqueline et al. (2004) Feature versus gestalt representation of stimuli in the mismatch negativity system of 7- to 9-year-old children. Psychophysiology 41:385-93