Auditory short-term memory trace formation for nonspeech and speech in SLI and dyslexia as indexed by the N100 and mismatch negativity electrophysiological responses.

Research paper by Outi T OT Tuomainen

Indexed on: 26 Mar '15Published on: 26 Mar '15Published in: Neuroreport


This study investigates nonspeech and speech processing in specific language impairment (SLI) and dyslexia. We used a passive mismatch negativity (MMN) task to tap automatic brain responses and an active behavioural task to tap attended discrimination of nonspeech and speech sounds. Using the roving standard MMN paradigm, we varied the number of standards ('few' vs. 'many') to investigate the effect of sound repetition on N100 and MMN responses. The results revealed that the SLI group needed more repetitions than dyslexics and controls to create a strong enough sensory trace to elicit MMN. In contrast, in the behavioural task, we observed good discrimination of speech and nonspeech in all groups. The findings indicate that auditory processing deficits in SLI and dyslexia are dissociable and that memory trace formation may be implicated in SLI.