This study examined the use of emotional and informational aspects of language in populations that demonstrate developmental social - emotional and linguistic pathologies. We tested high-functioning autistic (HFA) individuals because this group reveals deficiencies in social - emotional and informative aspects of language as well as abnormalities in sociability. We tested Williams syndrome (WS) individuals because of the claim that the social - emotional aspects of language use and sociability are differentially preserved in the context of mental retardation. We compared the performance of these two groups with two groups of control children (7- and 11-year-olds). All of the participants viewed a slide show depicting an event and were asked to retell the story. These narratives were coded for emotional and informational elements. The results showed that on measures of emotional elements, the WS group patterned with the control groups and only the HFA participants received lower scores, while on the informational elements, the two pathological groups did not differ, and both were lower than the controls. The results suggest that the preservation of language among WS individuals is specific for the emotional aspects of language.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Cognitive Neuroscience