Spatial and temporal attention in developmental dyslexia

  • Ruffino M
  • Gori S
  • Boccardi D
  • et al.
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Although the dominant view posits that developmental dyslexia (DD) arises from a deficit in phonological processing, emerging evidence suggest that DD could result from a more basic cross-modal letter-to-speech sound integration deficit. Letters have to be precisely selected from irrelevant and cluttering letters by rapid orienting of visual attention before the correct letter-to-speech sound integration applies. In the present study the time-course of spatial attention was investigated measuring target detection reaction times (RTs) in a cuing paradigm, while temporal attention was investigated by assessing impaired identification of the first of two sequentially presented masked visual objects. Spatial and temporal attention were slower in dyslexic children with a deficit in pseudoword reading (N = 14) compared to chronological age (N = 43) and to dyslexics without a deficit in pseudoword reading (N = 18), suggesting a direct link between visual attention efficiency and phonological decoding skills. Individual differences in these visual attention mechanisms were specifically related to pseudoword reading accuracy in dyslexics. The role of spatial and temporal attention in the graphemic parsing process might be related to a basic oscillatory "temporal sampling" dysfunction.




Ruffino, M., Gori, S., Boccardi, D., Molteni, M., & Facoetti, A. (2014). Spatial and temporal attention in developmental dyslexia. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8.

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