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Who Is He? Children with ASD and ADHD Take the Listener into Account in Their Production of Ambiguous Pronouns.

Kuijper SJ, Hartman CA, Hendriks P - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We found support for the view that speakers take the listener into account when choosing a referring expression: Theory of Mind was related to referential choice only at those moments when speakers could not solely base their choice on their own discourse representation to be understood.Furthermore, we found that TD children as well as children with ASD and children with ADHD took the listener into account in their choice of referring expression.The previously observed problems with referential choice in children with ASD may lie in difficulties in keeping track of longer and more complex discourses, rather than in problems with taking into account the listener.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Language and Cognition Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
During conversation, speakers constantly make choices about how specific they wish to be in their use of referring expressions. In the present study we investigate whether speakers take the listener into account or whether they base their referential choices solely on their own representation of the discourse. We do this by examining the cognitive mechanisms that underlie the choice of referring expression at different discourse moments. Furthermore, we provide insights into how children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) use referring expressions and whether their use differs from that of typically developing (TD) children. Children between 6 and 12 years old (ASD: n=46; ADHD: n=37; TD: n=38) were tested on their production of referring expressions and on Theory of Mind, response inhibition and working memory. We found support for the view that speakers take the listener into account when choosing a referring expression: Theory of Mind was related to referential choice only at those moments when speakers could not solely base their choice on their own discourse representation to be understood. Working memory appeared to be involved in keeping track of the different referents in the discourse. Furthermore, we found that TD children as well as children with ASD and children with ADHD took the listener into account in their choice of referring expression. In addition, children with ADHD were less specific than TD children in contexts with more than one referent. The previously observed problems with referential choice in children with ASD may lie in difficulties in keeping track of longer and more complex discourses, rather than in problems with taking into account the listener.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Mean percentages full NP use per Group and per Discourse Position.Mean percentage full NP use per Discourse Position for the TD group (blue dotted line), the ASD group (red solid line), and the ADHD group (green dotted line). Intro-1: Introduction of first character; Maintain-1: Maintenance of reference to first character; Intro-2: Introduction of second character; Maintain-2: Maintenance of reference to second character; Reintro-1: Reintroduction of first character. Error bars represent 1 SE.
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pone.0132408.g002: Mean percentages full NP use per Group and per Discourse Position.Mean percentage full NP use per Discourse Position for the TD group (blue dotted line), the ASD group (red solid line), and the ADHD group (green dotted line). Intro-1: Introduction of first character; Maintain-1: Maintenance of reference to first character; Intro-2: Introduction of second character; Maintain-2: Maintenance of reference to second character; Reintro-1: Reintroduction of first character. Error bars represent 1 SE.

Mentions: The percentage of full NP use per group at the different positions in discourse is shown in Fig 2.


Who Is He? Children with ASD and ADHD Take the Listener into Account in Their Production of Ambiguous Pronouns.

Kuijper SJ, Hartman CA, Hendriks P - PLoS ONE (2015)

Mean percentages full NP use per Group and per Discourse Position.Mean percentage full NP use per Discourse Position for the TD group (blue dotted line), the ASD group (red solid line), and the ADHD group (green dotted line). Intro-1: Introduction of first character; Maintain-1: Maintenance of reference to first character; Intro-2: Introduction of second character; Maintain-2: Maintenance of reference to second character; Reintro-1: Reintroduction of first character. Error bars represent 1 SE.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4492581&req=5

pone.0132408.g002: Mean percentages full NP use per Group and per Discourse Position.Mean percentage full NP use per Discourse Position for the TD group (blue dotted line), the ASD group (red solid line), and the ADHD group (green dotted line). Intro-1: Introduction of first character; Maintain-1: Maintenance of reference to first character; Intro-2: Introduction of second character; Maintain-2: Maintenance of reference to second character; Reintro-1: Reintroduction of first character. Error bars represent 1 SE.
Mentions: The percentage of full NP use per group at the different positions in discourse is shown in Fig 2.

Bottom Line: We found support for the view that speakers take the listener into account when choosing a referring expression: Theory of Mind was related to referential choice only at those moments when speakers could not solely base their choice on their own discourse representation to be understood.Furthermore, we found that TD children as well as children with ASD and children with ADHD took the listener into account in their choice of referring expression.The previously observed problems with referential choice in children with ASD may lie in difficulties in keeping track of longer and more complex discourses, rather than in problems with taking into account the listener.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Language and Cognition Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
During conversation, speakers constantly make choices about how specific they wish to be in their use of referring expressions. In the present study we investigate whether speakers take the listener into account or whether they base their referential choices solely on their own representation of the discourse. We do this by examining the cognitive mechanisms that underlie the choice of referring expression at different discourse moments. Furthermore, we provide insights into how children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) use referring expressions and whether their use differs from that of typically developing (TD) children. Children between 6 and 12 years old (ASD: n=46; ADHD: n=37; TD: n=38) were tested on their production of referring expressions and on Theory of Mind, response inhibition and working memory. We found support for the view that speakers take the listener into account when choosing a referring expression: Theory of Mind was related to referential choice only at those moments when speakers could not solely base their choice on their own discourse representation to be understood. Working memory appeared to be involved in keeping track of the different referents in the discourse. Furthermore, we found that TD children as well as children with ASD and children with ADHD took the listener into account in their choice of referring expression. In addition, children with ADHD were less specific than TD children in contexts with more than one referent. The previously observed problems with referential choice in children with ASD may lie in difficulties in keeping track of longer and more complex discourses, rather than in problems with taking into account the listener.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus