An examination of the cognitive functions associated with rapid naming of objects and letters in children and adults
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To date, it is unclear which cognitive functions influence performance in rapid automatized naming (RAN) tasks. Potential underlying processes include phonological processing (Vaessen et al., 2009), processing speed (Kail et al., 1999), retrieval automaticity (Meyer et al., 1998), visual perception (Ammawat et al., 2019), lexical access (Decker et al., 2013) and orthographic processing (Wolf & Bowers, 1999). The lack of consensus in the cognitive processes involved in RAN creates the need for further investigation of the underlying functions. Thus, the present thesis aimed to explore the joint and unique contributions of visual attention and memory-related processes to naming speed in neurotypical adults and children. The data included 74 Finnish-speaking children aged 12-13 years and 21 Finnish-speaking adults. The participants completed visual attention and visual short-term memory test (NEPSY-II), attentional network test, phonological short-term and working memory tests (WISC-IV Digit Span Forward and Backward) and serial object RAN. Children further completed serial letter RAN. The results indicate that visual attentional and visual short-term memory processes are associated with children’s object RAN performance. Phonological short-term memory, working memory, alerting, orienting and inhibition were shown not to explain a significant amount variance in RAN performance in children or adults. Taken together, visual attentional and memory-related processes are involved in rapid naming in children. ...
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