Heiervang, Einar, Stevenson, Jim and Hugdahl, Kenneth
Auditory processing in children with dyslexia
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 43, (7), . (doi:10.1111/1469-7610.00097).
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Background: it has been claimed that children with dyslexia show a general impairment in the processing of rapid auditory stimuli. However, most previous studies in this field have focused on children with language impairment or children who do not meet accepted criteria for dyslexia.
Methods: in the present study, the processing of rapid non-verbal auditory stimuli (complex tones) was examined in a population-based sample of 24 children with dyslexia, 10 to 12 years of age, and a matched control group.
Results: the dyslexia group showed reduced tone processing relative to the control group, with significant main effects of tone duration, inter-stimulus interval and task complexity. The deficit was not specific for temporal order errors, and could not be explained by differences in short-term memory or verbal IQ. However, correlations between tone processing and reading ability were generally low or absent.
Conclusion: although a general processing deficit for rapid auditory stimuli in dyslexia was confirmed, its relevance for reading problems and hence for treatment programmes for dyslexia is questioned.
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