115 research outputs found

    Deficient Letter-Speech Sound Integration Is Associated With Deficits in Reading but Not Spelling

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    Efficient and automatic integration of letters and speech sounds is assumed to enable fluent word recognition and may in turn also underlie the build-up of high-quality orthographic representations, which are relevant for accurate spelling. While previous research showed that developmental dyslexia is associated with deficient letter-speech sound integration, these studies did not differentiate between subcomponents of literacy skills. In order to investigate whether deficient letter-speech sound integration is associated with deficits in reading and/or spelling, three groups of third graders were recruited: (1) children with combined deficits in reading and spelling (RSD, N = 10);(2) children with isolated spelling deficit (ISD, N = 17);and (3) typically developing children (TD, N = 21). We assessed the neural correlates (EEG) of letter-speech sound integration using a Stroop-like interference paradigm: participants had to decide whether two visually presented letters look identical. In case of non-identical letter pairs, conflict items were the same letter in lower and upper case (e.g., "T t"), while non-conflict items were different letters (e.g., "T k"). In terms of behavioral results, each of the three groups exhibited a comparable amount of conflict-related reaction time (RT) increase, which may be a sign for no general inhibitory deficits. Event-related potentials (ERPs), on the other hand, revealed group-based differences: the amplitudes of the centro-parietal conflict slow potential (cSP) were increased for conflicting items in typical readers as well as the ISD group. Preliminary results suggest that this effect was missing for children with RSD. The results suggest that deficits in automatized letter-speech sound associations are associated with reading deficit, but no impairment was observed in spelling deficit

    Grapheme-phoneme learning in an unknown orthography: a study in typical reading and dyslexic children

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    In this study, we examined the learning of new grapheme-phoneme correspondences in individuals with and without dyslexia. Additionally, we investigated the relation between grapheme-phoneme learning and measures of phonological awareness, orthographic knowledge and rapid automatized naming, with a focus on the unique joint variance of grapheme-phoneme learning to word and non-word reading achievement. Training of grapheme-phoneme associations consisted of a 20-min training program in which eight novel letters (Hebrew) needed to be paired with speech sounds taken from the participant's native language (Dutch). Eighty-four third grade students, of whom 20 were diagnosed with dyslexia, participated in the training and testing. Our results indicate a reduced ability of dyslexic readers in applying newly learned grapheme-phoneme correspondences while reading words which consist of these novel letters. However, we did not observe a significant independent contribution of grapheme-phoneme learning to reading outcomes. Alternatively, results from the regression analysis indicate that failure to read may be due to differences in phonological and/or orthographic knowledge but not to differences in the grapheme-phoneme-conversion process itself

    Evidence for the late MMN as a neurophysiological endophenotype for dyslexia.

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    Dyslexia affects 5-10% of school-aged children and is therefore one of the most common learning disorders. Research on auditory event related potentials (AERP), particularly the mismatch negativity (MMN) component, has revealed anomalies in individuals with dyslexia to speech stimuli. Furthermore, candidate genes for this disorder were found through molecular genetic studies. A current challenge for dyslexia research is to understand the interaction between molecular genetics and brain function, and to promote the identification of relevant endophenotypes for dyslexia. The present study examines MMN, a neurophysiological correlate of speech perception, and its potential as an endophenotype for dyslexia in three groups of children. The first group of children was clinically diagnosed with dyslexia, whereas the second group of children was comprised of their siblings who had average reading and spelling skills and were therefore "unaffected" despite having a genetic risk for dyslexia. The third group consisted of control children who were not related to the other groups and were also unaffected. In total, 225 children were included in the study. All children showed clear MMN activity to/da/-/ba/contrasts that could be separated into three distinct MMN components. Whilst the first two MMN components did not differentiate the groups, the late MMN component (300-700 ms) revealed significant group differences. The mean area of the late MMN was attenuated in both the dyslexic children and their unaffected siblings in comparison to the control children. This finding is indicative of analogous alterations of neurophysiological processes in children with dyslexia and those with a genetic risk for dyslexia, without a manifestation of the disorder. The present results therefore further suggest that the late MMN might be a potential endophenotype for dyslexia

    Fixing fluency: Neurocognitive assessment of a dysfluent reading intervention

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    The ability to read is essential to attain society’s literacy demands. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of the population experiences major difficulties in mastering reading and spelling skills. Individuals diagnosed with developmental dyslexia are at severe risk for adverse academic, economic, and psychosocial consequences, thus requiring clinical intervention. To date, there is no effective remediation for the lack of reading fluency, which remains as the most persistent symptom in dyslexia. This thesis aims at identifying factors involved in the failure to develop a functional reading network as well as factors of treatment success in addressing the notorious ‘fluency barrier’ in dyslexia. The present work combines a theoretical framework of dyslexia based on the multisensory integration deficit with recent advances in our knowledge of the brain networks specialized for reading. This thesis uses a longitudinal design including both behavioral and neurophysiological measures in dyslexics at 3rd grade of school. Between measurements, we provide an intervention aimed at improving reading fluency by training automation of letter-speech sound mappings. The studies presented in this thesis contribute to our understanding of dyslexics’ deficits and their remediation

    The Functional Neuroanatomy of Letter-Speech Sound Integration and Its Relation to Brain Abnormalities in Developmental Dyslexia

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    This mini-review provides a comparison of the brain systems associated with developmental dyslexia and the brain systems associated with letter-speech sound (LSS) integration. First, the findings on the functional neuroanatomy of LSS integration are summarized in order to obtain a comprehensive overview of the brain regions involved in this process. To this end, neurocognitive studies investigating LSS integration in both normal and abnormal reading development are taken into account. The neurobiological basis underlying LSS integration is consequently compared with existing neurocognitive models of functional and structural brain abnormalities in developmental dyslexia—focusing on superior temporal and occipito-temporal (OT) key regions. Ultimately, the commonalities and differences between the brain systems engaged by LSS integration and the brain systems identified with abnormalities in developmental dyslexia are investigated. This comparison will add to our understanding of the relation between LSS integration and normal and abnormal reading development
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