Using computational modelling to understand developmental language disorder (DLD)

In this work package we want to address the underlying causes of developmental language disorder (DLD).

While much is known about the specific difficulties faced by children with DLD, we do not know how these problems arise. Computational modelling is a way to develop potential explanations for the mechanisms underlying typical and atypical development.

We will first construct computational models that simulate word learning in typically developing children. Then, we will change different aspects of the function of the model and observe the types of word learning deficits that arise. We will compare these ‘atypical’ models with the data on word learning in children with DLD.

Doing this will enable us to specify what might be different in the mechanisms of word learning in children with DLD compared with typically developing children, and it might suggest interventions that can then also be tested with these models.

Project Team: Sam Jones, Bob McMurray, Katie Twomey, Gert Westermann (Lead)

Duration: 3 years, starting 1 May 2020

Project number: 1.1