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Children with brain injuries have problems with story-telling
Date:7/26/2010

Children with brain injuries have difficulty developing story-telling skills even though other language abilities, such as vocabulary, tend to catch up with other children as they mature, research at the University of Chicago shows.

"Our findings suggest that there may be limitations to the remarkable flexibility for language functions displayed by children with brain injuries," said zlem Ece Demir, a researcher at the University of Chicago and lead author of a paper reporting the research. It is estimated that 1 in 4,000 infants has a brain injury known as pre- or perinatal brain lesions, mainly as a result of stroke, with risk factors involving both mothers and babies.

Demir is part of a University research team that has been studying children with brain lesions areas of damaged tissue to learn more about language development. Studying children with brain injuries gives researchers insights into theories of brain development, researchers said. For the study on story-telling, the team compared those children with children who have typical development.

Their findings are reported in "Narrative Skill in children with Early Unilaterail Brain Injury: A possible limit to Functional Plasticity" the paper, in the current issue of Developmental Science. Joining Demir were Chicago colleagues Susan Levine, the Stella M. Rowley Professor in Psychology, and Susan Goldin-Meadow, the Beardsley Ruml Distinguished Service Professor in Psychology.

The 11 children with brain injuries had a median age of six and included eight girls and three boys. The 20-member group of typically developing children included 11 girls and nine boys of approximately the same age as the children with brain injuries.

The children were asked to tell a story after given a situation that suggested a narrative, such as, "Once there was a little boy named Alan who had many different kinds of toys." They were prompted by questions such as "anything e
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Contact: William Harms
w-harms@uchicago.edu
773-702-8356
University of Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

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