“My research has been primarily motivated by a desire to better understand language, particularly why language develops differently in some groups of children.”
This interest has led me to study children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), specific language impairments (SLI), and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Most children with these disorders evidence language, as well as reading difficulties. Understanding the causes of language difficulties in these populations is critical for the development of more effective interventions and for earlier identification of children at risk.
My most recent research has explored the roles of effortful and automatic processing of auditory information in these children. Effortful processing comes into play when we are first learning something, such as how to identify the sounds of different instruments in an orchestra, and we need to focus our attention and actively work to master the skill, but as we become good at it, we are able to maintain our proficient level of performance without so much effort because aspects of the task have become automatic. I think that the language and reading difficulties exhibited by many children with ASD, SLI, and ADHD may be attributable to their inability to automatically process auditory information efficiently. These children continue to employ more effortful processing strategies than their typically developing peers. This extra effort is tiring and ties up resources which could be used for other tasks leading to poorer performance not only in the area of primary difficulty but in other areas requiring effortful processing, such as learning new material, social interactions, and managing feelings.
Staikova, E, Gomes, H, Tartter, V, McCabe, A., Halperin, J. M., (2013)
Pragmatic Deficits and Social Impairment in Children with ADHD. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54 (12), 1275-1283.
Gomes, H., Duff, M., Flores, A., & Halperin, J.M. (2013)
Automatic processing of duration in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 19 (6), 686-694.
Riccio, CA, & Gomes, H. (2013)
Interventions for executive function deficits in children and adolescents. Applied Neuropsychology: Child, 2, 133-140.
Brandwein, A.B., Foxe, J.J., Russo, N.N., Altschuler, T.S., Gomes, H., & Molholm, S. (2013)
Multisensory integration in high-functioning autism spectrum disorders: High-density electrical mapping and psychophysical measures reveal impairments in the processing of audiovisual inputs. Cerebral Cortex, 23, 1329-41.
Gomes, H., Duff, M., Ramos, M., Molholm, S., Foxe, J., & Halperin, J. (2012)
Auditory selective attention and processing in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Clinical Neurophysiology, 133, 293-302
Brandwein, A., Foxe, J.J., Russo, N., Altschuler, T., Gomes, H., Molholm, S. (2011)
The development of audiovisual multisensory integration across childhood and early adolescence: A high-density electrical mapping study. Cerebral Cortex, 21, 1042-55.
Russo, N., Foxe, J.J., Brandwein, A, Altschuler, T., Gomes, H., & Molholm, S. (2010)
Multisensory processing in children with autism: high-density electrical mapping of auditory-somatosensory integration. Autism Research, 3, 253-67.
Massa, J.,Gomes, H., Tartter, V., Wolfson, V., & Halperin, J. (2008)
The concordance rates between parent and teacher Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals Observational Rating Scales. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 43, 99-110.
Gomes, H., Wolfson, V., & Halperin, J. (2007)
Is there a selective relationship between language functioning and auditory attention in children? An investigation of auditory and visual attention in children using continuous performance tasks (CPTs). Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 29, 660-668.
Gomes, H., Molholm, S., Christodoulou, C., Ritter, W., & Cowan,N. (2000)
The development of auditory attention in children. Frontiers in Bioscience, 5, 108-120