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Cognition. 2008 Jan;106(1):222-33. Epub 2007 Mar 9.

False recollection in children with reading comprehension difficulties.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, B1N 9QG, United Kingdom.


Children with reading comprehension difficulties display impaired performance on semantic processing tasks. These impairments are assumed to reflect weaker knowledge about abstract semantic associations between words in poor comprehenders [Nation, K., and Snowling, M. (1999). Developmental differences in sensitivity to semantic relations among good and poor comprehenders: evidence from semantic priming. Cognition, 19, B1-B13.]. We examined the performance of poor comprehenders on the Deese/Roediger/McDermott (DRM) paradigm. Children studied spoken words that were semantic associates (e.g., bed, rest, and awake) or phonological associates (e.g., pole, bowl, and hole) followed by free recall and a recognition test containing nonstudied critical words (e.g., sleep and roll). Results showed reduced recall and recognition of critical words in the semantic condition but not in the phonological condition for poor comprehenders. We argue that poor comprehenders are less sensitive to abstract semantic associations between words because of reduced gist memory.

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