The ear advantages of groups of Down Syndrome and developmentally retarded (NonDown) young adults, and normal youngsters matched for mental age were compared on dichotic listening performance. The paradigm employed strings of single, double, and triple digits presented to each ear under both free and cued recall conditions. The developmentally retarded and normal groups demonstrated the typical right ear advantage (REA), whereas the Down Syndrome group produced a significant left ear advantage (LEA) in four of the six experimental conditions. In addition, for the cued as compared to free recall conditions, all three groups demonstrated relatively better right ear performance. These results indicate anomalous dominance in Down Syndrome young adults which is consistent across varying memory load and attentional demands. Furthermore, these results are not likely due to a maturational lag phenomenon, but more likely related to genetic, biologic, and neurologic, factors as suggested by Geschwind and Galaburda (1985).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience