Get access

Rotation and generation of mental imagery in children with specific language impairment



Maria Guarnera, Departement of Human and Social Sciences, University Kore of Enna, Enna, Italy. Tel: +0935 532711 | Fax: +0935 532777 | Email:



To investigate the relationship between mental imagery and specific language impairment (SLI) and explore the assumption that children with SLI are less able to generate mental images and/or convert them, when compared to typical development (TD) children of the same age.


Twenty-four children, aged six to eight, took part in two tests to see how well they generated and rotated mental images. The participants were 12 SLI children (six boys and six girls) and 12 TD children (six boys and six girls), matched by age and gender.


The statistical analysis showed a significant difference between the two groups when it came to generating mental imagery. However, there were no significant differences with regard to rotating mental imagery.


The results suggest imagery deficit in language-impaired children is not caused by mental rotation, but by other aspects of image processing, such as generation, maintenance and interpretation of visual images.