A1 Journal article (refereed)
Attentional modulation of interhemispheric (a)symmetry in children with developmental language disorder (2022)

Hernández, D., Kärkkäinen, S., Tulonen, T., Helenius, P., Salmelin, R., & Parviainen, T. (2022). Attentional modulation of interhemispheric (a)symmetry in children with developmental language disorder. Scientific Reports, 12, Article 17904. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-22820-x

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsHernández, Doris; Kärkkäinen, Salme; Tulonen, Terhi; Helenius, Päivi; Salmelin, Riitta; Parviainen, Tiina

Journal or seriesScientific Reports


Publication year2022

Publication date25/10/2022


Article number17904

PublisherNature Publishing Group

Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/84623


The nature of auditory processing problems in children with developmental language disorder (DLD) is still poorly understood. Much research has been devoted to determining the extent to which DLD is associated with general auditory versus language-specific dysfunction. However, less emphasis has been given to the role of different task conditions in these dysfunctions. We explored whether children with DLD demonstrate atypical interhemispheric asymmetry during the auditory processing of speech and non-speech sounds and whether this interhemispheric balance is modulated by attention. Magnetoencephalography was used to record auditory evoked fields in 18 children (9 to 10 years old), 9 with DLD and 9 with language typical development, during active or passive listening to speech and non-speech sounds. A linear mixed model analysis revealed a bilateral effect of attention in both groups. Participants with DLD demonstrated atypical interhemispheric asymmetry, specifically in the later (185–600 ms) time window but only during the passive listening condition. During the active task, the DLD group did not differ from the typically developed children in terms of hemispheric balance of activation. Our results support the idea of an altered interhemispheric balance in passive auditory response properties in DLD. We further suggest that an active task condition, or top–down attention, can help to regain leftward lateralization, particularly in a later stage of activation. Our study highlights the highly dynamic and interhemispheric nature of auditory processing, which may contribute to the variability in reports of auditory language processing deficits in DLD.

Keywordspsychologyneuroscienceschildren (age groups)child developmentdysfunctionslanguage developmentlanguage disorderssense of hearinglisteningactivation

Free keywordsneuroscience; psychology

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-15-06 at 00:45