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Impact of different pathologies of communication in working memory

Grant number: 11/24127-4
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: July 01, 2012 - June 30, 2014
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Speech Therapy
Principal researcher:Débora Maria Befi-Lopes
Grantee:Débora Maria Befi-Lopes
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina (FM). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Ana Manhani Cáceres Assenço


The term working memory refers to a system that process in real time the information necessary to execute some complex task. Its capacity is limited, once there is a restrict amount of information which its able to deal in each processing. It also maintains a direct relation with language acquisition and comprehension. Actually, there is a great discussion about working memory and the study of it in different pathologies shows promissory results to this area advance. For example we might say that in children with SLI, working memory is frequently impaired and it is appointed like a possible clinical mark. Recent studies shows that children with cochlear implant's working memory might be impaired and have a positive correlation with severity of the case. Stuttering children also shows evidences of impairment in tasks involving working memory, with higher number of mistakes when the stimuli are more demanding. Considering the information obtained in this international literature review, it is possible to note that so many researches were done to determine the way working memory functions in different pathologies, but just a little is known about the impact that the language might determine on this development. Thus, the main object of this research is to characterize and compare the performance of visual and verbal working memory in Brazilian Portuguese speaking children divides in four groups: with specific language impairment, with speech sound disorder, with stuttering, and with normal development. The central hypothesis is that the group with specific language impairment will have the worst performance, followed by the group with speech sound disorder. The performance of the group with stuttering will be below only the group with normal language development. (AU)

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