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High-level language ability in healthy individuals and its relationship with verbal working memory

Journal article
Authors Malin Antonsson
Francesca Longoni
Christina Einald
Lina Hallberg
Gabriella Kurt
Kajsa Larsson
Tina Nilsson
Lena Hartelius
Published in Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics
Volume 30
Issue 12
Pages 944-958
ISSN 0269-9206
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Pages 944-958
Language en
Keywords Adults digit span high-level language subtle language disorders verbal working memory
Subject categories Linguistics, Other Medical Sciences


The aims of the study were to investigate healthy subjects' performance on a clinical test of high-level language (HLL) and how it is related to demographic characteristics and verbal working memory (VWM). One hundred healthy subjects (20-79 years old) were assessed with the Swedish BeSS test (Laakso, Brunnegard, Hartelius, & Ahlsen, 2000) and two digit span tasks. Relationships between the demographic variables, VWM and BeSS were investigated both with bivariate correlations and multiple regression analysis. The results present the norms for BeSS. The correlations and multiple regression analysis show that demographic variables had limited influence on test performance. Measures of VWM were moderately related to total BeSS score and weakly to moderately correlated with five of the seven subtests. To conclude, education has an influence on the test as a whole but measures of VWM stood out as the most robust predictor of HLL.

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