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ERIC Number: EJ838376
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-0033-2933
Exclusion Learning and Emergent Symbolic Category Formation in Individuals with Severe Language Impairments and Intellectual Disabilities
Wilkinson, Krista M.; Rosenquist, Celia; McIlvane, William J.
Psychological Record, v59 n2 p187-206 Spr 2009
We evaluated formation of simple symbolic categories from initial learning of specific dictated word-picture relations through emergence of untaught or derived relations. Participants were 10 individuals with severe intellectual and language limitations. Three experimental categories were constructed, each containing 1 spoken word (Set A), 1 photograph (Set B), and 1 visual-graphic "lexigram" (Set C). Exclusion-based learning procedures were used to teach first the 3 auditory-visual relations (A-B relations) and then the 3 visual-visual relations (B-C relations) for each category. Seven participants acquired these initial relations. The untaught relations C-B and A-C were then assessed to evaluate the emergence of symbolic categories. Participants demonstrated virtually error-free performances on C-B and A-C derived relations. The study helps to define operationally a highly useful procedural path for systematic instruction in symbolic functioning for persons with intellectual and language disabilities associated with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. (Contains 3 tables and 5 figures.)
Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Mailcode 4609, Rehabilitation Institute, Carbondale, IL 62901-4609. Tel: 618-536-7704; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test; Test of Nonverbal Intelligence