An assessment of cerebral dominance in language-disordered children via a time-sharing paradigm

Mary alayne Hughes, Harvey M. Sussman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A time-sharing paradigm was used to assess language lateralization in language-disordered and normal children aged 4-7 years. Several expressive language tasks as well as a vocal, but nonlinguistic, task were administered concurrently with unimanual finger tapping. Dependent variables were percent disruption scores and number of syllables produced per concurrent trial. All language concurrent tasks produced tapping reductions for both hands for both groups. This result contrasts to similar time-sharing studies claiming asymmetrical interference and hence language lateralization in children (N. White & M. Kinsbourne, 1980, Brain and Language, 10, 215-223; J. Obrzut, G. Hynd, A. Obrzut, & J. Leitgeb, 1980, Brain and Language, 11, 181-194). A multiple regression analysis revealed a significant interaction effect differentiating language-disordered from normal children. Normals exhibited a parallel response pattern for speech and tapping (both increased or decreased in rate) under all lateralization conditions. Language-disordered children exhibited an inverse response pattern (e.g., if speech output increased, tapping rate decreased) only under left-hemisphere time-sharing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-64
Number of pages17
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing


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