A paper authored by Western Psychology professors Lisa Archibald, Janis Cardy, Marc Joanisse and Daniel Ansari was named among the Top 100 most talked-about academic papers of the year, according to The Altmetric 2013 Top 100.
Ranked No. 82, the paper, Language, Reading, and Math Learning Profiles in an Epidemiological Sample of School Age Children, was published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, which boasted 13 of the Top 100 articles. In fact, 42 of the Top 100 papers were published in open-access journals.
The Altmetric 2013 Top 100 showcases the most popular research articles online published in the past year. Many of the papers received a huge amount of attention because they related to current events, reflected interesting scientific findings, and or were just plain quirky.
According to the abstract, the Western team’s paper focused on:
Dyscalculia, dyslexia and specific language impairment (SLI) are relatively specific developmental learning disabilities in math, reading and oral language, respectively, that occur in the context of average intellectual capacity and adequate environmental opportunities. Past research has been dominated by studies focused on single impairments despite the widespread recognition that overlapping and comorbid deficits are common.
The present study took an epidemiological approach to study the learning profiles of a large school age sample in language, reading and math. Both general learning profiles reflecting good or poor performance across measures and specific learning profiles involving either weak language, weak reading, weak math or weak math and reading were observed. These latter four profiles characterized 70 per cent of children with some evidence of a learning disability. Low scores in phonological short-term memory characterized clusters with a language-based weakness whereas low or variable phonological awareness was associated with the reading (but not language-based) weaknesses. The low math only group did not show these phonological deficits. These findings may suggest different etiologies for language-based deficits in language, reading, and math, reading-related impairments in reading and math, and isolated math disabilities.