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  • 1.
    Andin, Josefine
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Reorganization of large-scale brain networks in deaf signing adults: The role of auditory cortex in functional reorganization following deafness2022In: Neuropsychologia, ISSN 0028-3932, E-ISSN 1873-3514, Vol. 166, article id 108139Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    If the brain is deprived of input from one or more senses during development, functional and structural reorganization of the deprived regions takes place. However, little is known about how sensory deprivation affects large-scale brain networks. In the present study, we use data-driven independent component analysis (ICA) to characterize large-scale brain networks in 15 deaf early signers and 24 hearing non-signers based on resting-state functional MRI data. We found differences between the groups in independent components representing the left lateralized control network, the default network, the ventral somatomotor network, and the attention network. In addition, we showed stronger functional connectivity for deaf compared to hearing individuals from the middle and superior temporal cortices to the cingulate cortex, insular cortex, cuneus and precuneus, supramarginal gyrus, supplementary motor area, and cerebellum crus 1, and stronger connectivity for hearing non-signers to hippocampus, middle and superior frontal gyri, pre- and postcentral gyri, and cerebellum crus 8. These results show that deafness induces large-scale network reorganization, with the middle/superior temporal cortex as a central node of plasticity. Cross-modal reorganization may be associated with behavioral adaptations to the environment, including superior ability in some visual functions such as visual working memory and visual attention, in deaf signers.

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  • 2.
    Andin, Josefine
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Krister, Schönström
    Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Rudner, Mary
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV). Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Sweden.
    Working Memory for Signs with Poor Visual Resolution: fMRI Evidence of Reorganizationof Auditory Cortex in Deaf Signers2021In: Cerebral Cortex, ISSN 1047-3211, E-ISSN 1460-2199, Vol. 31, no 7, p. 3165-3176Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Stimulus degradation adds to working memory load during speech processing.We investigated whether this applies to signprocessing and, if so, whether the mechanism implicates secondary auditory cortex.We conducted an fMRI experimentwhere 16 deaf early signers (DES) and 22 hearing non-signers performed a sign-based n-back task with three load levels andstimuli presented at high and low resolution.We found decreased behavioral performance with increasing load anddecreasing visual resolution, but the neurobiological mechanisms involved differed between the two manipulations and didso for both groups. Importantly, while the load manipulation was, as predicted, accompanied by activation in thefrontoparietal working memory network, the resolution manipulation resulted in temporal and occipital activation.Furthermore, we found evidence of cross-modal reorganization in the secondary auditory cortex: DES had strongeractivation and stronger connectivity between this and several other regions.We conclude that load and stimulus resolutionhave different neural underpinnings in the visual–verbal domain, which has consequences for current working memorymodels, and that for DES the secondary auditory cortex is involved in the binding of representations when task demandsare low.

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  • 3.
    Andin, Josefine
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Orfanidou, Eleni
    University of Crete, Rethymnon, Greece.
    Cardin, Velia
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. University College London, UK.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Capek, Cheryl M.
    School of Psychological Science, University of Manchester, UK.
    Woll, Bencie
    University College London, UK.
    Rönnberg, Jerker
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Rudner, Mary
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Similar digit-based working memory in deaf signers and hearing non-signers despite digit span differences2013In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 4, no 942Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Similar working memory (WM) for lexical items has been demonstrated for signers and non-signers while short-term memory (STM) is regularly poorer in deaf than hearing individuals. In the present study, we investigated digit-based WM and STM in Swedish and British deaf signers and hearing non-signers. To maintain good experimental control we used printed stimuli throughout and held response mode constant across groups. We showed that deaf signers have similar digit-based WM performance, despite shorter digit spans, compared to well-matched hearing non-signers. We found no difference between signers and non-signers on STM span for letters chosen to minimize phonological similarity or in the effects of recall direction. This set of findings indicates that similar WM for signers and non-signers can be generalized from lexical items to digits and suggests that poorer STM in deaf signers compared to hearing non-signers may be due to differences in phonological similarity across the language modalities of sign and speech.

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  • 4.
    Cardin, Velia
    et al.
    Univerity College London, Faculty of Brain Sciences.
    Campbell, Ruth
    University College of London.
    MacSweeney, Mairéad
    University College London, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Rönnberg, Jerker
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Rudner, Mary
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Neurobiological insights from the study of deafness and sign language2019In: Understanding deafness, language, and cognitive development: essays in honour of Bencie Woll / [ed] Gary Morgan, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2019, p. 159-181Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The study of deafness and sign language has provided a means of dissociating modality specificity from higher level abstract processes in the brain. Differentiating these is fundamental for establishing the relationship between sensorimotor representations and functional specialisation in the brain. Early deafness in humans provides a unique insight into this problem, because the reorganisation observed in the adult deaf brain is not only due to neural development in the absence of auditory inputs, but also due to the acquisition of visual communication strategies such as sign language and speechreading. Here we report research by scholars who have collaborated with Bencie Woll in understanding the neural reorganisation that occurs as a consequence of early deafness, and its relation to the use of different visual strategies for language. We concentrate on three main topics: functional specialisation of sensory cortices, language and working memory.

  • 5.
    Heimann, Mikael
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Neonatal Imitation, Intersubjectivity, and Children With Atypical Development: Do Observations on Autism and Down Syndrome Change Our Understanding?2021In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 12, article id 701795Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Almost all studies on neonatal imitation to date seem to have focused on typically developing children, and we thus lack information on the early imitative abilities of children who follow atypical developmental trajectories. From both practical and theoretical perspectives, these abilities might be relevant to study in children who develop a neuropsychiatric diagnosis later on or in infants who later show impaired ability to imitate. Theoretical in the sense that it will provide insight into the earliest signs of intersubjectivity—i.e., primary intersubjectivity—and how this knowledge might influence our understanding of children following atypical trajectories of development. Practical in the sense that it might lead to earlier detection of certain disabilities. In the present work, we screen the literature for empirical studies on neonatal imitation in children with an Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or Down syndrome (DS) as well as present an observation of neonatal imitation in an infant that later was diagnosed with autism and a re-interpretation of previously published data on the phenomenon in a small group of infants with DS. Our findings suggest that the empirical observations to date are too few to draw any definite conclusions but that the existing data suggests that neonatal imitation can be observed both in children with ASD and in children with DS. Thus, neonatal imitation might not represent a useful predictor of a developmental deficit. Based on current theoretical perspectives advocating that neonatal imitation is a marker of primary intersubjectivity, we propose tentatively that an ability to engage in purposeful exchanges with another human being exists in these populations from birth.

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  • 6.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Psykologisk nivå2021In: Att leva som andra: Ett biopsykosocialt perspektiv på funktionsnedsättning och funktionshinder / [ed] Håkan Hua, Lisa Kilman, Josefine Andin, Jerker Rönnberg, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2021, p. 67-82Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 7. Order onlineBuy this publication >>
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Signs for Developing Reading: Sign Language and Reading Development in Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Reading development is supported by strong language skills, not least in deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children. The work in the present thesis investigates reading development in DHH children who use sign language, attend Regional Special Needs Schools (RSNS) in Sweden and are learning to read. The primary aim of the present work was to investigate whether the reading skills of these children can be improved via computerized sign language based literacy training. Another aim was to investigate concurrent and longitudinal associations between skills in reading, sign language, and cognition in this population. The results suggest that sign language based literacy training may support development of word reading. In addition, awareness and manipulation of the sub-lexical structure of sign language seem to assist word reading, and imitation of familiar signs (i.e., vocabulary) may be associated with developing reading comprehension. The associations revealed between sign language skills and reading development support the notion that sign language skills provide a foundation for emerging reading skills in DHH signing children. In addition, the results also suggest that working memory and Theory of Mind (ToM) are related to reading comprehension in this population. Furthermore, the results indicate that sign language experience enhances the establishment of representations of manual gestures, and that progression in ToM seems to be typical, although delayed, in RSNS pupils. Working memory has a central role in integrating environmental stimuli and language-mediated representations, and thereby provides a platform for cross-modal language processing and multimodal language development.

    List of papers
    1. Evidence of an association between sign language phonological awareness and word reading in deaf and hard-of-hearing children
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evidence of an association between sign language phonological awareness and word reading in deaf and hard-of-hearing children
    2016 (English)In: Research in Developmental Disabilities, ISSN 0891-4222, E-ISSN 1873-3379, Vol. 48, p. 145-159Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

    Children with good phonological awareness (PA) are often good word readers. Here, we asked whether Swedish deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children who are more aware of the phonology of Swedish Sign Language, a language with no orthography, are better at reading words in Swedish.

    METHODS AND PROCEDURES:

    We developed the Cross-modal Phonological Awareness Test (C-PhAT) that can be used to assess PA in both Swedish Sign Language (C-PhAT-SSL) and Swedish (C-PhAT-Swed), and investigated how C-PhAT performance was related to word reading as well as linguistic and cognitive skills. We validated C-PhAT-Swed and administered C-PhAT-Swed and C-PhAT-SSL to DHH children who attended Swedish deaf schools with a bilingual curriculum and were at an early stage of reading.

    OUTCOMES AND RESULTS:

    C-PhAT-SSL correlated significantly with word reading for DHH children. They performed poorly on C-PhAT-Swed and their scores did not correlate significantly either with C-PhAT-SSL or word reading, although they did correlate significantly with cognitive measures.

    CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

    These results provide preliminary evidence that DHH children with good sign language PA are better at reading words and show that measures of spoken language PA in DHH children may be confounded by individual differences in cognitive skills.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Elsevier, 2016
    Keywords
    Deafness; Handshape; Phonological awareness; Sign language; Word reading
    National Category
    Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122930 (URN)10.1016/j.ridd.2015.10.008 (DOI)000367766100014 ()26561215 (PubMedID)
    Funder
    Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2008-0846
    Note

    Funding agencies: Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare [2008-0846]

    Available from: 2015-11-30 Created: 2015-11-30 Last updated: 2022-09-29Bibliographically approved
    2. Imitation, Sign Language Skill and the Developmental Ease of Language Understanding (D-ELU) Model
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Imitation, Sign Language Skill and the Developmental Ease of Language Understanding (D-ELU) Model
    2016 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 7, no 107Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Imitation and language processing are closely connected. According to the Ease of Language Understanding (ELU) model (Ronnberg et al., 2013) pre-existing mental representation of lexical items facilitates language understanding. Thus, imitation of manual gestures is likely to be enhanced by experience of sign language. We tested this by eliciting imitation of manual gestures from deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) signing and hearing non-signing children at a similar level of language and cognitive development. We predicted that the DHH signing children would be better at imitating gestures lexicalized in their own sign language (Swedish Sign Language, SSL) than unfamiliar British Sign Language (BSL) signs, and that both groups would be better at imitating lexical signs (SSL and BSL) than non-signs. We also predicted that the hearing non-signing children would perform worse than DHH signing children with all types of gestures the first time (T1) we elicited imitation, but that the performance gap between groups would be reduced when imitation was elicited a second time (T2). Finally, we predicted that imitation performance on both occasions would be associated with linguistic skills, especially in the manual modality. A split-plot repeated measures ANOVA demonstrated that DHH signers imitated manual gestures with greater precision than non-signing children when imitation was elicited the second but not the first time. Manual gestures were easier to imitate for both groups when they were lexicalized than when they were not; but there was no difference in performance between familiar and unfamiliar gestures. For both groups, language skills at T1 predicted imitation at T2. Specifically, for DHH children, word reading skills, comprehension and phonological awareness of sign language predicted imitation at T2. For the hearing participants, language comprehension predicted imitation at T2, even after the effects of working memory capacity and motor skills were taken into account. These results demonstrate that experience of sign language enhances the ability to imitate manual gestures once representations have been established, and suggest that the inherent motor patterns of lexical manual gestures are better suited for representation than those of non-signs. This set of findings prompts a developmental version of the ELU model, D-ELU.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2016
    Keywords
    imitation; sign language; manual gesture; representation; development
    National Category
    Basic Medicine
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-125800 (URN)10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00107 (DOI)000370127400001 ()26909050 (PubMedID)
    Note

    Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare [2008-0846]

    Available from: 2016-03-08 Created: 2016-03-04 Last updated: 2022-09-29
    3. Theory of Mind and Reading Comprehension in Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Signing Children
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Theory of Mind and Reading Comprehension in Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Signing Children
    2016 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 7, no 854Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Theory of Mind (ToM) is related to reading comprehension in hearing children. In the present study, we investigated progression in ToM in Swedish deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) signing children who were learning to read, as well as its assocation with reading comprehension. Thirteen children at Swedish state primary schools for DHH children performed a Swedish Sign Language (SSL) version of the Wellman and Liu (2004) ToM scale, along with tests of reading comprehension, SSL comprehension, and working memory. Results indicated that ToM progression did not differ from that reported in previous studies, although ToM development was delayed despite age-appropriate sign language skills. Correlation analysis revealed that ToM was associated with reading comprehension and working memory, but not sign language comprehension. We propose that some factor not investigated in the present study, possibly represented by inference making constrained by working memory capacity, supports both ToM and reading comprehension and may thus explain the results observed in the present study.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Frontiers, 2016
    Keywords
    Deaf and hard-of-hearing, Theory of Mind, sign language, working memory, reading comprehension, Children
    National Category
    Psychology Specific Languages Clinical Medicine Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-128253 (URN)10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00854 (DOI)000377254900001 ()
    Note

    Funding agencies: Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare [2008-0846]

    Available from: 2016-05-24 Created: 2016-05-24 Last updated: 2022-09-29
    4. Computerized Sign Language-Based Literacy Trainingfor Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Computerized Sign Language-Based Literacy Trainingfor Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children
    2017 (English)In: Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, ISSN 1081-4159, E-ISSN 1465-7325, Vol. 22, no 4, p. 404-421Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Strengthening the connections between sign language and written language may improve reading skills in deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) signing children. The main aim of the present study was to investigate whether computerized sign language-based literacy training improves reading skills in DHH signing children who are learning to read. Further, longitudinal associations between sign language skills and developing reading skills were investigated. Participants were recruited from Swedish state special schools for DHH children, where pupils are taught in both sign language and spoken language. Reading skills were assessed at five occasions and the intervention was implemented in a cross-over design. Results indicated that reading skills improved over time and that development of word reading was predicted by the ability to imitate unfamiliar lexical signs, but there was only weak evidence that it was supported by the intervention. These results demonstrate for the first time a longitudinal link between sign-based abilities and word reading in DHH signing children who are learning to read. We suggest that the active construction of novel lexical forms may be a supramodal mechanism underlying word reading development.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017
    National Category
    Language Technology (Computational Linguistics) Computer and Information Sciences
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-141161 (URN)10.1093/deafed/enx023 (DOI)000412206300006 ()28961874 (PubMedID)
    Note

    Funding agencies: Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare [2008-0846]; Swedish Hearing Foundation [B2015/480]

    Available from: 2017-09-25 Created: 2017-09-25 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
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  • 8.
    Holmer, Emil
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Heimann, Mikael
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Rudner, Mary
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Computerized Sign Language-Based Literacy Trainingfor Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children2017In: Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, ISSN 1081-4159, E-ISSN 1465-7325, Vol. 22, no 4, p. 404-421Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Strengthening the connections between sign language and written language may improve reading skills in deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) signing children. The main aim of the present study was to investigate whether computerized sign language-based literacy training improves reading skills in DHH signing children who are learning to read. Further, longitudinal associations between sign language skills and developing reading skills were investigated. Participants were recruited from Swedish state special schools for DHH children, where pupils are taught in both sign language and spoken language. Reading skills were assessed at five occasions and the intervention was implemented in a cross-over design. Results indicated that reading skills improved over time and that development of word reading was predicted by the ability to imitate unfamiliar lexical signs, but there was only weak evidence that it was supported by the intervention. These results demonstrate for the first time a longitudinal link between sign-based abilities and word reading in DHH signing children who are learning to read. We suggest that the active construction of novel lexical forms may be a supramodal mechanism underlying word reading development.

    Download full text (pdf)
    fulltext
  • 9.
    Holmer, Emil
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Heimann, Mikael
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Rudner, Mary
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Evidence of an association between sign language phonological awareness and word reading in deaf and hard-of-hearing children2016In: Research in Developmental Disabilities, ISSN 0891-4222, E-ISSN 1873-3379, Vol. 48, p. 145-159Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

    Children with good phonological awareness (PA) are often good word readers. Here, we asked whether Swedish deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children who are more aware of the phonology of Swedish Sign Language, a language with no orthography, are better at reading words in Swedish.

    METHODS AND PROCEDURES:

    We developed the Cross-modal Phonological Awareness Test (C-PhAT) that can be used to assess PA in both Swedish Sign Language (C-PhAT-SSL) and Swedish (C-PhAT-Swed), and investigated how C-PhAT performance was related to word reading as well as linguistic and cognitive skills. We validated C-PhAT-Swed and administered C-PhAT-Swed and C-PhAT-SSL to DHH children who attended Swedish deaf schools with a bilingual curriculum and were at an early stage of reading.

    OUTCOMES AND RESULTS:

    C-PhAT-SSL correlated significantly with word reading for DHH children. They performed poorly on C-PhAT-Swed and their scores did not correlate significantly either with C-PhAT-SSL or word reading, although they did correlate significantly with cognitive measures.

    CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

    These results provide preliminary evidence that DHH children with good sign language PA are better at reading words and show that measures of spoken language PA in DHH children may be confounded by individual differences in cognitive skills.

    Download full text (pdf)
    fulltext
  • 10.
    Holmer, Emil
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Heimann, Mikael
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Rudner, Mary
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Imitation and language development in deaf and hearing schoolchildren2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Deaf signing children and hearing children reveal different developmental trajectories in several aspects of neurocognitive functioning; however, comparative studies of imitation across these groups are lacking. Imitation has been suggested to play a part in language and cognitive development, and the ability to imitate indicates multi-modal integration and analysis (e.g., Meltzoff & Williamson, 2013). Thus, understanding the function of imitation in typical and atypical groups is of theoretical interest, but may also have practical implications. Because sign language is gesture based, it is likely that deaf signing children can tap into existing linguistic representations during gesture imitation whereas only motor representations are available for nonsigning individuals. Thus, gesture imitation is likely to be supported by different cognitive skills in the signing and non-signing individuals. Importantly, imitation may expose qualities of generic mechanisms in the representational system. Method: Thirteen school-aged deaf users of Swedish Sign Language and 36 hearing nonsigning children, at similar levels of non-verbal cognitive ability and word reading skills, performed an experimental imitation task. The task involved spontaneous imitation of a set of manual gestures. Participants performed the task at two occasions, separated by 35 weeks. Tests of nonverbal intelligence, visual working memory, phonological awareness, word reading and reading comprehension were also administered. We investigated the precision of the imitative acts across groups and time, as well as relationships between imitative precision and cognitive and language skills in both groups. Results: A split-plot repeated measures ANOVA demonstrated that deaf signers imitate manual gestures with greater precision than hearing non-signing children. Further, improvement in imitative precision over time was greater for deaf than for hearing participants. Correlational patterns indicated that imitative precision was positively associated with language skills in both groups. Specifically, for deaf children, word reading skills at both assessment points and performance on a sign similarity judgment task at the second assessment were correlated positively with imitative precision. For the hearing participants, positive connections to word reading skills and performance on a rhyme task were observed at the second assessment point. In both groups, a significant connection between imitative precision and reading comprehension was observed at the second assessment point. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that sign language experience enhances the ability to imitate manual gestures longitudinally. They also show that imitation ability is linked to language skills in the non-manual, speech-related domain. We propose that the precision of imitative acts reflects the quality of linguistic and motor representations and the ability to employ them in language processing.

  • 11.
    Holmer, Emil
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Heimann, Mikael
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Rudner, Mary
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Imitation, Sign Language Skill and the Developmental Ease of Language Understanding (D-ELU) Model2016In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 7, no 107Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Imitation and language processing are closely connected. According to the Ease of Language Understanding (ELU) model (Ronnberg et al., 2013) pre-existing mental representation of lexical items facilitates language understanding. Thus, imitation of manual gestures is likely to be enhanced by experience of sign language. We tested this by eliciting imitation of manual gestures from deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) signing and hearing non-signing children at a similar level of language and cognitive development. We predicted that the DHH signing children would be better at imitating gestures lexicalized in their own sign language (Swedish Sign Language, SSL) than unfamiliar British Sign Language (BSL) signs, and that both groups would be better at imitating lexical signs (SSL and BSL) than non-signs. We also predicted that the hearing non-signing children would perform worse than DHH signing children with all types of gestures the first time (T1) we elicited imitation, but that the performance gap between groups would be reduced when imitation was elicited a second time (T2). Finally, we predicted that imitation performance on both occasions would be associated with linguistic skills, especially in the manual modality. A split-plot repeated measures ANOVA demonstrated that DHH signers imitated manual gestures with greater precision than non-signing children when imitation was elicited the second but not the first time. Manual gestures were easier to imitate for both groups when they were lexicalized than when they were not; but there was no difference in performance between familiar and unfamiliar gestures. For both groups, language skills at T1 predicted imitation at T2. Specifically, for DHH children, word reading skills, comprehension and phonological awareness of sign language predicted imitation at T2. For the hearing participants, language comprehension predicted imitation at T2, even after the effects of working memory capacity and motor skills were taken into account. These results demonstrate that experience of sign language enhances the ability to imitate manual gestures once representations have been established, and suggest that the inherent motor patterns of lexical manual gestures are better suited for representation than those of non-signs. This set of findings prompts a developmental version of the ELU model, D-ELU.

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  • 12.
    Holmer, Emil
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Heimann, Mikael
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Rudner, Mary
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Sign language phonological awareness supports word reading in deaf beginning readers2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Spoken language phonological awareness (PA) supports word reading development in hearing children; however, deaf children, who have non-functional levels of hearing and a signed language as their first language, seem to utilize their first language skills to learn to read. We developed a new phonological decision task that can be used to assess PA in both spoken and signed languages, and investigated how these skills were related to word reading in deaf beginning readers (Study 1). We also investigated the validity of our new task in hearing beginning readers (Study 2). Thirteen deaf beginning readers with a mean age of 10 years (SD=2.3) participated in Study 1; in Study 2, 36 normal hearing children with a mean age of 7.5 years (SD=0.3) took part. Groups were well matched on word reading, non-verbal intelligence, and gender distribution. The deaf children performed the new phonological decision task both as a sign similarity task and as a rhyme task; hearing children only performed a rhyme task. Participants also performed motor speed, cognitive speed, working memory, word decoding and lexical decision tasks; in addition, hearing children completed an established test of PA. Correlational analyses across studies indicated that the new task is a valid measure of PA, and that first language PA supports word reading, even when surface forms of first and reading language are completely different. Sign language PA may support word-to-sign mapping or some aspect of orthographic analysis; however, future studies should investigate what the exact function of this skill is.

  • 13.
    Holmer, Emil
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Heimann, Mikael
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Rudner, Mary
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    The effects of computerized sign language based literacy training in Deaf beginning readers2013Conference paper (Refereed)
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    Holmer et al. CHSCOM 2013
  • 14.
    Holmer, Emil
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Heimann, Mikael
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Rudner, Mary
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Theory of Mind and Reading Comprehension in Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Signing Children2016In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 7, no 854Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Theory of Mind (ToM) is related to reading comprehension in hearing children. In the present study, we investigated progression in ToM in Swedish deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) signing children who were learning to read, as well as its assocation with reading comprehension. Thirteen children at Swedish state primary schools for DHH children performed a Swedish Sign Language (SSL) version of the Wellman and Liu (2004) ToM scale, along with tests of reading comprehension, SSL comprehension, and working memory. Results indicated that ToM progression did not differ from that reported in previous studies, although ToM development was delayed despite age-appropriate sign language skills. Correlation analysis revealed that ToM was associated with reading comprehension and working memory, but not sign language comprehension. We propose that some factor not investigated in the present study, possibly represented by inference making constrained by working memory capacity, supports both ToM and reading comprehension and may thus explain the results observed in the present study.

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  • 15.
    Holmer, Emil
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Rudner, Mary
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Developmental ease of language understanding model and literacy acquisition: evidence from deaf and hard-of-hearing signing children2020In: Literacy and deaf education: toward a global understanding / [ed] Qiuying Y. Wang and Jean F. Andrews, Washington D.C: Gallaudet University Press, 2020, p. 153-173Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    In our research on deaf signing children, most of the work is conducted in a swedish context, where we adopt a bio-psychological approach. From a medical point of view, it might be easier to determine the level of hearing loss following an established nomenclature: for example, mild, moderate, moderate severe, severe, and profound. Based on a medical definition of disabling hearing loss, estimated that almost 2% of all the children in the world, corresponding to more than 30 million individuals, are affected.

  • 16.
    Holmer, Emil
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Rudner, Mary
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Andin, Josefine
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Evidence of an Effect of Gaming Experience on Visuospatial Attention in Deaf but Not in Hearing Individuals2020In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 11, article id 534741Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Auditory cortex in congenitally deaf early sign language users reorganizes to support cognitive processing in the visual domain. However, evidence suggests that the potential benefits of this reorganization are largely unrealized. At the same time, there is growing evidence that experience of playing computer and console games improves visual cognition, in particular visuospatial attentional processes. In the present study, we investigated in a group of deaf early signers whether those who reported recently playing computer or console games (deaf gamers) had better visuospatial attentional control than those who reported not playing such games (deaf non-gamers), and whether any such effect was related to cognitive processing in the visual domain. Using a classic test of attentional control, the Eriksen Flanker task, we found that deaf gamers performed on a par with hearing controls, while the performance of deaf non-gamers was poorer. Among hearing controls there was no effect of gaming. This suggests that deaf gamers may have better visuospatial attentional control than deaf non-gamers, probably because they are less susceptible to parafoveal distractions. Future work should examine the robustness of this potential gaming benefit and whether it is associated with neural plasticity in early deaf signers, as well as whether gaming intervention can improve visuospatial cognition in deaf people.

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  • 17.
    Marsja, Erik
    et al.
    Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Danielsson, Henrik
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Interplay between working memory and speech recognition declines over time2024Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Age-related changes in auditory and cognitive functions are well-documented, with increased hearing thresholds (e.g., Wiley et al., 2008) and reduced working memory capacity (WMC; e.g., Wingfield et al., 1988) among older adults. Moreover, aging has been linked to poorer speech recognition in noise (e.g., Marsja et al., 2022), highlighting the multifaceted impact of age on auditory and cognitive domains. Our study examined the dynamic relationship between auditory and cognitive changes over time to shed light on the direction of influence between the two. To this aim, we employed change score modeling.

    Methods: We analyzed data from 111 normally hearing individuals from the n200 study (https://2024.speech-in-noise.eu/proxy.php?id=81). At Time 1 (T1), their mean age was 61.2 years (SD = 8.00), and at Time 2 (T2), their mean age was 67.0 years (SD = 8.06). We used Latent Change Score modeling to explore the changes in WMC and speech recognition in noise. To measure speech recognition in noise, we used signal-to-noise ratios from the Hearing in Noise Test during speech-shaped noise. The reading span test was used as a measure for WMC.

    Results and Conclusion: Preliminary results showed a decline in WMC, signified by the negative relationship between Reading Span at T1 and changes in Reading Span at T2. This negative relationship indicates that individuals with higher initial WMC experienced subsequent declines in their cognitive abilities. Furthermore, our analysis revealed a negative relationship between changes in speech recognition in noise at T2 and Reading Span at T1. This relationship suggests that individuals with higher initial WMC experienced less decline in their speech recognition in noise over time. Further research with additional time points may be needed to fully elucidate the complex relationship between cognitive and auditory changes over time.

  • 18.
    Palmqvist, Lisa
    et al.
    Institutionen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik, Göteborgs Universitet.
    Reichenberg, Monica
    Institutionen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik, Göteborgs Universitet.
    Samuelsson, Jenny
    Institutionen för neurovetenskap och fysiologi, sektionen för hälsa och rehabilitering, Göteborgs Universitet.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Lundälv, Mats
    Thunberg, Gunilla
    Institutionen för filosofi, lingvistik och vetenskapsteori, Göteborgs Universitet.
    Heimann, Mikael
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Kan en app-baserad läsintervention öka elevers läsförmåga och lärares self-efficacy?2023In: Läs- och Skrivsvårigheter & DyslexiArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 19.
    Reichenberg, Monica
    et al.
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Thunberg, Gunilla
    Sahlgrens Univ Hosp, Sweden; Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Palmqvist, Lisa
    Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division. Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Samuelsson, Jenny
    Univ Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Lundälv, Mats
    Sahlgrens Univ Hosp, Sweden.
    Mühlenbock, Katarina
    Sahlgrens Univ Hosp, Sweden.
    Heimann, Mikael
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Will an app-based reading intervention change how teachers rate their teaching self-efficacy beliefs?: A test of social cognitive theory in Swedish special educational settings2023In: Frontiers in Education, E-ISSN 2504-284X, Vol. 8, article id 1184719Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Educational researchers have challenged Bandura’s prediction that self-efficacy beliefs tend to be established early in learning and that once set, self-efficacy beliefs persist unless a critical event causes them to be reevaluated. However, the results have been mixed in previous research, including being positive, negative, and unchanged. In response, we evaluated how 75 teachers (i.e., special educators) rate their teaching self-efficacy beliefs in motivating student reading and adapting reading instruction at two time points. All teachers taught students with an intellectual disability, communication difficulties, and poor reading skills. The teachers participated in a workshop to learn teaching reading strategies with apps under various conditions (comprehension strategies, phonemic strategies, or both comprehension and phonemic strategies). We analyzed teacher self-efficacy beliefs at two time points with a 12-week span (pre-and postintervention). First, we developed measures of teacher self-efficacy through confirmatory factor analyses. Next, we analyzed the data with multiple imputation and mixed linear regression with difference-in-differences (DiD). The results indicated no statistically significant treatment effect on teachers’ rating of their teaching self-efficacy beliefs. We conclude that our results agree with Bandura’s original prediction and thus, his social cognitive theory.

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  • 20.
    Rudner, Mary
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Heimann, Mikael
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division.
    Ease of Language Undestanding in deaf and hard of hearing children: Sign language and reading2022In: Tendencias actuales en la investigación en lenguaje escrito y sordera / [ed] Ana Belén, Domínguez Gutiérrez-Mariana Valmaseda & Carmela Velasco Alonso, Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca , 2022, 1, p. 87-101Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This is an empirical study, preceded by a corresponding review of the state of the art, to demonstrate that, as suggested by the notion of multimodal language processing in the ELU model, an intervention basedon training the connection between sign language and reading can be a very useful method to improve word reading among children who are def or hard of hearing who know sign language.

  • 21.
    Rudner, Mary
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Editorial Material: Working Memory in Deaf Children Is Explained by the Developmental Ease of Language Understanding (D-ELU) Model in FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY, vol 7, issue 1047, pp2016In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 7, no 1047Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    n/a

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  • 22.
    Rudner, Mary
    et al.
    Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Heimann, Mikael
    Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Sign language based literacy training with Omega-is-d2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Signed languages do not have a written form. Thus, deaf children, for whom sign language is the primary mode of communication, learn to read in a second language. Not surprisingly, the reading skills of deaf children generally lag behind those of their hearing peers. The mechanisms underlying reading in deaf individuals are only just beginning to be unraveled but it seems that language skills play an important role. The assumption underlying the present study is that encouraging deaf children to explore the relationship between signed language and written speech-based language can promote reading skill. We are developing and evaluating a sign language version of Omega-is, a computerized literacy training program that trains language abilities. Interventions with Omega-is and its forerunners have shown positive effects on reading abilities in children with sensory and cognitive impairments. In the sign language version, known as Omega-is-d, written sentences created by the user are presented in Swedish Sign Language. In a preliminary study, 12 deaf pupils (six in grade 1-2 and six in grade 4-6) at a Swedish state primary school for deaf and hard of hearing children trained language skills using a pilot version of Omega-is-d in a crossover design. Participants in grade 1-2 improved their word-decoding ability as a result of training. Although reading comprehension was below normal, cognitive skills were age appropriate. Better reading comprehension was associated with better word decoding skills, better syntax skills in written Swedish and Swedish Sign Language and better working memory capacity. These preliminary findings suggest that young deaf children with age appropriate cognitive skills can achieve better reading skills with sign based literacy training.

  • 23.
    Rudner, Mary
    et al.
    Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
    Nilsson, Karin
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Andin, Josefine
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Schönström, Krister
    Stockholms Universitet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Teckenspråk och kognition2021In: Leva som andra: Ett biopsykosocialt perspektiv på funktionsnedsättning och funktionshinder / [ed] Håkan Hua, Lisa Kilman, Josefine Andin, Jerker Rönnberg, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2021, p. 289-308Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 24.
    Rudner, Mary
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Toscano, Elena
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Load and distinctness interact in working memory for lexical manual gestures2015In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 6, article id 1147Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Ease of Language Understanding model (Ronnberg et al., 2013) predicts that decreasing the distinctness of language stimuli increases working memory load; in the speech domain this notion is supported by empirical evidence. Our aim was to determine whether such an over-additive interaction can be generalized to sign processing in sign-naive individuals and whether it is modulated by experience of computer gaming. Twenty young adults with no knowledge of sign language performed an n-back working memory task based on manual gestures lexicalized in sign language; the visual resolution of the signs and working memory load were manipulated. Performance was poorer when load was high and resolution was low. These two effects interacted over-additively, demonstrating that reducing the resolution of signed stimuli increases working memory load when there is no pre-existing semantic representation. This suggests that load and distinctness are handled by a shared amodal mechanism which can be revealed empirically when stimuli are degraded and load is high, even without pre-existing semantic representation. There was some evidence that the mechanism is influenced by computer gaming experience. Future work should explore how the shared mechanism is influenced by pre-existing semantic representation and sensory factors together with computer gaming experience.

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  • 25.
    Rudner, Mary
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Toscano, Elena
    Center for Neurocognitive Rehabilitation (CeRiN), University of Trento.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Working memory for manual gestures is influenced more by poor visual resolution when working memory load is high2015Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 26.
    Rönnberg, Jerker
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Rudner, Mary
    Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology.
    Cognitive Hearing Science: Three Memory Systems, Two Approaches, and the Ease of Language Understanding Model2021In: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, ISSN 1558-9102, Vol. 64, no 2, p. 359-370Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    The purpose of this study was to conceptualize the subtle balancing act between language input and prediction (cognitive priming of future input) to achieve understanding of communicated content. When understanding fails, reconstructive postdiction is initiated. Three memory systems play important roles: working memory (WM), episodic long-term memory (ELTM), and semantic long-term memory (SLTM). The axiom of the Ease of Language Understanding (ELU) model is that explicit WM resources are invoked by a mismatch between language input—in the form of rapid automatic multimodal binding of phonology—and multimodal phonological and lexical representations in SLTM. However, if there is a match between rapid automatic multimodal binding of phonology output and SLTM/ELTM representations, language processing continues rapidly and implicitly.

    Method and Results

    In our first ELU approach, we focused on experimental manipulations of signal processing in hearing aids and background noise to cause a mismatch with LTM representations; both resulted in increased dependence on WM. Our second—and main approach relevant for this review article—focuses on the relative effects of age-related hearing loss on the three memory systems. According to the ELU, WM is predicted to be frequently occupied with reconstruction of what was actually heard, resulting in a relative disuse of phonological/lexical representations in the ELTM and SLTM systems. The prediction and results do not depend on test modality per se but rather on the particular memory system. This will be further discussed.

    Conclusions

    Related to the literature on ELTM decline as precursors of dementia and the fact that the risk for Alzheimer's disease increases substantially over time due to hearing loss, there is a possibility that lowered ELTM due to hearing loss and disuse may be part of the causal chain linking hearing loss and dementia. Future ELU research will focus on this possibility.

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  • 27.
    Rönnberg, Jerker
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Rudner, Mary
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    The Ease of Language Understanding Model2022In: The Cambridge Handbook of Working Memory and Language, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022, p. 197-218Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To conceptualize the communicative role of working memory (WM), the Ease-of-Language Understanding (ELU) model was proposed (e.g., Rönnberg, 2003; Rönnberg et al., 2008, 2013, 2019, 2020). The model states that ease of language understanding is determined by the speed and accuracy with which the signal is matched to existing multimodal language representations. When matching is fast and complete, language understanding is effortless; this process may be facilitated by predictions based on the contents of WM. However, when the contents of the language signal mismatches with existing representations, WM is triggered to access knowledge in semantic long-term memory (SLTM) and personal experience from episodic long-term memory (ELTM) – promoting inference-making and postdictions in WM. The interplay between WM and LTM is fundamental to language understanding; its efficiency becomes apparent in adverse conditions and its breakdown may explain cognitive decline and dementia. Empirical support, limitations, and future studies will be discussed.

  • 28.
    Samuelsson, Jenny
    et al.
    Speech and Language Pathology Unit, Department of Health and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; Dart—Centre for AAC and Assistive Technology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden; Region Västra Götaland, Habilitation & Health, Habilitation Children and youth, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division.
    Åsberg Johnels, Jakob
    Speech and Language Pathology Unit, Department of Health and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; Child Neuropsychiatric Clinic, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden; Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Palmqvist, Lisa
    Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division. Department of Education and Special Education, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Heimann, Mikael
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Reichenberg, Monica
    Department of Education and Special Education, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Thunberg, Gunilla
    Speech and Language Pathology Unit, Department of Health and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; Dart—Centre for AAC and Assistive Technology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    My point of view: Students with intellectual and communicative disabilities express their views on speech and reading using Talking Mats2023In: British Journal of Learning Disabilities, ISSN 1354-4187, E-ISSN 1468-3156Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background It can be challenging for people with intellectual disabilities to convey their thoughts and opinions because of cognitive, speech and language impairments. Consequently, facilitating their ability to communicate using augmentative and alternative communication methods is essential. The picture-based framework Talking Mats has been applied in many studies and has been shown to be successful in facilitating communication and soliciting views from individuals with intellectual disabilities and communication difficulties. The aim of this study was to describe the views of students with intellectual disabilities and communication difficulties on speech and reading activities and to examine whether valence scores (from negative to positive) on these views were associated with performance on tests of their corresponding abilities. Methods This is a cross-sectional quantitative survey study. A group of 111 students with intellectual disabilities and communication difficulties aged 7–21 were interviewed about their speech and reading activities using the visual framework Talking Mats. Their answers were scored on a three-grade like-dislike continuum and were correlated with their results on adapted tests of the corresponding abilities. Findings The students expressed their views on speech and reading activities. The scored views on speech were positively associated with speech production, and the scored views on reading activities were positively related to reading ability. This suggests that their opinions as expressed through Talking Mats were consistent and reliable. Conclusions Most students with intellectual disabilities and communicative difficulties can reliably express their own opinions of their abilities when they are provided with a clear visual structure and pictorial support, such as Talking Mats. In this study, this was seen for students with a mild intellectual disability from age seven and onwards and for students with a more severe intellectual disability from 12 years of age and onwards.

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  • 29.
    Stacey, Jemaine E
    et al.
    Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK.
    Danielsson, Henrik
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Heinrich, Antje
    Manchester Centre for Audiology and Deafness (ManCAD), Division of Psychology, Communication and Human Neuroscience, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK..
    Batinović, Lucija
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Ingo, Elisabeth
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Henshaw, Helen
    Hearing Sciences, Mental Health and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Nottingham School of Medicine, Nottingham, UK.; National Institute for Health & Care Research (NIHR), NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, Nottingham, UK..
    Relationship between self-reported listening and communication difficulties and executive function: a protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis2023In: BMJ Open, E-ISSN 2044-6055, Vol. 13, no 11, article id e071225Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction

    Listening and communication difficulties can limit people’s participation in activity and adversely affect their quality of life. Hearing, as well as listening and communication difficulties, can be measured either by using behavioural tests or self-report measures, and the outcomes are not always closely linked. The association between behaviourally measured and self-reported hearing is strong, whereas the association between behavioural and self-reported measures of listening and communication difficulties is much weaker, suggesting they assess different aspects of listening. While behavioural measures of listening and communication difficulties have been associated with poorer cognitive performance including executive functions, the same association has not always been shown for self-report measures. The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to understand the relationship between executive function and self-reported listening and communication difficulties in adults with hearing loss, and where possible, potential covariates of age and pure-tone audiometric thresholds.

    Methods and analysis

    Studies will be eligible for inclusion if they report data from both a self-report measure of listening difficulties and a behavioural measure of executive function. Eight databases are to be searched: MEDLINE (via Ovid SP), EMBASE (via Ovid SP), PsycINFO (via Ovid SP), ASSIA (via ProQuest), Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature or CINAHL (via EBSCO Host), Scopus, PubMed and Web of Science (Science and Social Science Citation Index). The JBI critical appraisal tool will be used to assess risk of bias for included studies. Results will be synthesised primarily using a meta-analysis, and where sufficient quantitative data are not available, a narrative synthesis will be carried out to describe key results.

    Ethics and dissemination

    No ethical issues are foreseen. Data will be disseminated via academic publication and conference presentations. Findings may also be published in scientific newsletters and magazines.

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  • 30.
    Witte, Erik
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University.
    Björkstrand, Thomas
    Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University.
    Danielsson, Henrik
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Holmer, Emil
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
    Effects of lexical neighbourhood density and phonotactic probability studied with a new database of matched pairs of real signs and modelled pseudosigns in the Swedish Sign Language2023In: Proceedings of The 16th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, 2023Conference paper (Refereed)
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