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Cogn Neuropsychol. 2008 Jul;25(5):690-703. doi: 10.1080/02643290802274064. Epub 2008 Jul 18.

Semantic and phonological fluency in children with Down syndrome: atypical organization of language or less efficient retrieval strategies?

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of York, York, UK.


In this study the verbal fluency procedure was used to investigate the organization of semantic and phonological representations in children with Down syndrome (DS) and typically developing children, matched pairwise for receptive vocabulary age. Productivity was found to be significantly reduced in the DS group in both the semantic and the phonological tasks. However, group differences in the number of clusters as opposed to cluster size suggest that this may reflect less efficient retrieval strategies rather than differences in the organization of linguistic representations. Together the findings point to executive deficits in Down syndrome rather than deviant language processes.

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