Date of Award

11-28-2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Marsha G. Clarkson - Co-Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Rose A. Sevcik - Co-Chair

Third Advisor

Dr. Mary Ann Romski

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Robin D. Morris

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Colleen O'Rourke

Abstract

Naming speed, motor skill, and auditory temporal processing (ATP) are constructs that are important to reading and language. These variables require processing timing information inherent in the stimulus or processing stimuli rapidly. ATP deficits are found in individuals with reading impairments, but studies are conflicting regarding the relationship between reading and ATP. This study examined relationships between naming speed, motor speed, and ATP, and centered on possible factors why inconsistencies have occurred across studies examining the association between reading and ATP. If the timing element of naming speed (rapid automatized naming-RAN) and of motor speed is common to ATP, then RAN and motor speed should predict thresholds for three auditory tasks (CMR, backward masking, and the precedence effect with TOJ) known to require temporal processing. Tasks were administered to adult participants in order to examine the effects with skilled readers. Many of the variables were skewed and there were multiple outliers that altered the analyses. Ultimately, 75 participants were included in the final data set. Results indicated that RAN did not predict thresholds for any of the masking tasks given. However, motor speed predicted thresholds for one CMR and two backward masking tasks, suggesting that motor speed should be controlled for in research assessing the contribution of ATP to reading or language. Neither naming speed nor motor speed predicted localization performance. Non-verbal intelligence predicted performance on several of the masking tasks, consistent with previous research. Performance on all three auditory tasks was similar to that reported in the literature assessing smaller samples of participants. Although the suggestion of a general timing component is not supported, the relationships found between motor speed and several auditory temporal measures indicate that the underlying timing elements are not independent.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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