Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 3 March 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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Cognitive Flexibility in Children with Learning Disability

Radish Kumar. B, M.Sc. (Speech Language Pathology)
Jayashree S. Bhat, M.Sc. (Speech and Hearing), Ph.D.
Soudamini.Shankar, BASLP (Intern)


A child with learning disability may have underlying abnormality in cognitive processing that often precedes or is associated with learning disorders. If language and the learning difficulties are the result of slow processing speed, then the differences in cognitive flexibility measures are expected in children with learning disability in comparison with age matched peers. Hence the present study was attempted. Participants consisted of 12 children with learning disability and 12 age matched typically developing children in the age range of 9-10 years.

The experimental set comprised of a set of 20 pictures in 4 lexical categories (fruits, stationary items, animals and body parts). The stimuli was then inserted and presented to the participants using DMDX software in such a way that four pictures of the same lexical category appeared one after another on the computer screen following one from a different lexical category.

Participants were instructed to name the pictures immediately upon the presentation of the stimuli. Participant's response latencies were measured from the application of a stimulus to the detection of a response through naming. Differences between the reaction time for the fourth item and the fifth item was calculated to obtain a cognitive flexibility index.

Results of the independent t-test revealed statistically significant differences between the two groups for the cognitive flexibility index at p<0.01. The obtained results were attributed to the deficits in the attentional process and the knowledge representation yielding a prolonged cognitive block in children with learning disability.

Key Words: Learning disability, Processing speed, cognitive flexibility index


National Joint Committee for Learning Disabilities (NJCLD)(1981; 1985) defined 'Learning disabilities' as a generic term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning or mathematical abilities. These disorders are intrinsic to the individual and presumed to be due to central nervous system dysfunction.

Even though a learning disability may occur concomitantly with other handicapping conditions (e.g., sensory impairment, mental retardation, social and emotional disturbance) or environmental influences (e.g., cultural differences, insufficient/inappropriate instruction, psychogenic factors), it is not the direct result of those conditions or influences.

Learning Disorders are diagnosed when the individual's achievement on standardized tests in reading, mathematics or written expression is substantially below that expected for age, schooling and level of intelligence.

The learning problems significantly interfere with academic achievement or activities of daily living that require reading, mathematical or writing skills. There may be underlying abnormality in cognitive processing (e.g., deficits in visual perception, linguistic processes, attention or memory, or a combination of these) that often precede or are associated with learning disorders.

Processing speed is one of the measures of cognitive efficiency or cognitive proficiency. It involves the ability to automatically and fluently perform relatively easy or over learned cognitive tasks, especially when high mental efficiency is required i.e., for simple tasks requiring attention and focussed concentration, and it relates to the ability to process information automatically and therefore speedily, without intentional thinking through.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

The Linguistics of Newspaper Advertising in Nigeria | Women in Advertisements | Case-Assignment Under Government in Modern Literary Arabic | Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Very Young Learners: A Case from Turkey | Association of Self Fashioning and Circumstances in Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin | A Moral Lesson, Amoral Lesion - Sharon Pollock's The Komagata Maru Incident | Pariksha: Test by Prem Chand | Treatment of City in Nayantara Sahgal's Storm in Chandigarh | Phrasal Stress in Telugu | Stress Among ELT Teachers: A Study of Performance Evaluation from a Private Secondary School in Haryana | Willa Cather’s Portrayal of the Pioneer Virtues in Alexandra Bergson with Reference to O Pioneers! | Man-Woman Relationship in Nayantara Sahgal's Mistaken Identity | Classroom Management and Quality Control - An Action Research | Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha - A Dualist Spiritual Journey | Impact of Dramatics on Composition Skills of Secondary School English Language Learners in Pakistan | Narrative Technique, Language and Style in R. K. Narayan's Works | Diasporic Crisis of Dual Identity in Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake | To Teach or Not to Teach Grammar isn't the Question Any Longer - A Case for Consciousness-Raising Tasks | Cognitive Flexibility in Children with Learning Disability | Coda Deletion in Yemeni Tihami Dialect (YTD)- Autosegmental Analysis | The Enigmatic Maya in Anita Desai's
Cry, The Peacock
| Developing an English Curriculum for a Premedical Program | The Ties of Kinship in Rohinton Mistry's Novels | Indian English: A Linguistic Reality | The Unpredictability of the Sonority of English Words | Women's Representation in Polity: A Need to Enhance Their Participation | Nandhini Oza's Concern for the Tribal Welfare in "The Dam Shall Not Be Built" | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF MARCH 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of March 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Radish Kumar. B, M.Sc (Speech Language Pathology)
Jayashree S. Bhat, M.Sc (Speech and Hearing), Ph.D.
Soudamini.Shankar, BASLP (Intern)
Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology
Kasturba Medical College (Unit of Manipal University)
Mangalore - 575001
Karnataka, India

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