Inducing subvocalization in preschool children



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Electromyographic (EMG) recordings were taken from 48 four and five year old children during a recall task in which they saw pictures whose names contained or did not contain labial phonemes. When the children were encouraged to rehearse, subvocalization occurred during both picture presentation and during a subsequent rehearsal period. Subvocalization induced during the rehearsal period aided stimuli recall. Older female Ss, and higher I.Q. Ss were found to recall more pictures than younger Ss, male Ss, and lower I.Q. Ss, respectively. The relevance of these findings to the mediational-deficiency hypothesis and production-deficiency hypothesis was discussed. The mediational-deficiency hypothesis states that when a child makes the proper verbalizations at the proper times, he is less able than an older child to use them as mediators of overt behavior. The production-deficiency hypothesis contends that a younger child does not spontaneously produce the verbal mediators at the appropriate time in the task. Direct observation studies of rehearsal were also discussed in light of their relevance to the findings. Variables affecting neurological maturation and possible ways to facilitate neural functioning ('thought?') were suggested.



Children--Language, Electromyography