Understanding Conversation – Children With an Extra X or Y Chromosome – Now Recruiting!

The Department of Experimental Psychology (EP) at the University of Oxford would like to invite your child to be part of this study investigating how we understand conversation. The project is looking at how children understand conversations. We know that vocabulary and grammar are important in understanding conversation, but social communication is likely to depend on more than just these two aspects. For example, people need to understand how context is important in understanding why someone is saying something – for instance, if you say ‘dinner is on the table’, you are not so much telling your family where dinner is, as inviting your family to come and eat! Currently, very little is known about how children develop the ability to understand meaning flexibly in conversation, and so we are exploring this.

Some children seem to have particular problems with social communication, as well as language more generally. This includes children with an extra X or Y chromosome. We hope the findings will be useful in understanding more about the problems experienced by children with communication difficulties. We are inviting 50 children with an extra X or Y chromosome to take part in this research. Any child with Klinefelter’s Syndrome (XXY), Triple X or XYY is eligible to take part. All children taking part will need to be aged between 7;0 and 14;11 years and speak English as a first language. The children will also need to have no severe hearing/sight problems and no history of neurological illness, brain injury or any genetic conditions besides the extra chromosome. Your child would need to be aware that they have an extra chromosome.

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