The effect of varying stimulus context on word-finding ability: Dyslexia further differentiated from other learning disabilities

Rita G. Rudel, Martha Bridge Denckla, Melinda Broman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


All learning-disabled children, dyslexic and nondyslexic, were found to be impaired relative to controls on a variety of naming tests: (1) naming pictured objects (visual name), (2) responding with an object name to a definition (auditory definition), (3) completing a sentence with an object name (auditory sentence), or (4) naming palpated objects (tactual). Only on the sentence completion task (auditory sentence), which has been found to be the simplest response mode, were the dyslexic subjects selectively less accurate than the nondyslexic learning disabled, relative to the control group. Although dyslexic subjects tend to circumlocute when naming objects, they did not find it easier, relative to other groups, to give the function rather than the name of objects. Time scores were not in the same direction. The nondyslexic learning-disabled group responded more rapidly than either the dyselxic subjects or controls and made more perceptual errors, findings that may be related to some other factor, possibly the hyperactivity of many of the children in the nondyslexic learning-disabled group. The finding, also, that most of their naming error scores correlate highly with each other as well as with standardized language measures (WISC-R Vocabulary and PPVT), whereas those of the dyslexic and control groups do not, further suggests some underlying pathology to which their language disability is related. Language impairment, then, may be a common factor in all learning disability, dyslexic and nondyslexic, possibly for different reasons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-144
Number of pages15
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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