Contributions of language and memory demands to verbal memory performance in language-learning disabilities

Emi Isaki, Tammie J. Spaulding, Elena Plante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to investigate the performance of adults with language-based learning disorders (L/LD) and normal language controls on verbal short-term and verbal working memory tasks. Eighteen adults with L/LD and 18 normal language controls were compared on verbal short-term memory and verbal working memory tasks under low, moderate, and high linguistic processing loads. Results indicate no significant group differences on all verbal short-term memory tasks and verbal working memory tasks with low and moderate language loads. Statistically significant group differences were found on the most taxing condition, the verbal working memory task involving high language processing load. The L/LD group performed significantly worse than the control group on both the processing and storage components of this task. These results support the limited capacity hypothesis for adults with L/LD. Rather than presenting with a uniform impairment in verbal memory, they exhibit verbal memory deficits only when their capacity limitations are exceeded under relatively high combined memory and language processing demands. Educational Objectives: The reader will (1) understand the relationship between increased linguistic demands and working memory, and (2) learn about working memory skills in adults with language learning disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-530
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


Dive into the research topics of 'Contributions of language and memory demands to verbal memory performance in language-learning disabilities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this