Addressing a persistent debate in the field of dyslexia research, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Southern California (USC) have disproved the popular theory that deficits in certain visual processes cause the spelling and reading woes commonly suffered by dyslexics.
Rather, a more general problem in basic sensory perception may be at the root of the learning disorder, the scientists report today (May 29, 2005) in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The work suggests new ways to identify dyslexics and to assess the many unevaluated techniques teachers use to help dyslexics in the classroom.
Misfiring neurons perhaps make it difficult for dyslexics to pick out relevant visual and auditory cues from the expanse of surrounding sounds and patterns, or "noise"; it is this inability that may bear heavily on how easily a child can read, says lead author Anne Sperling, who conducted the research as a USC graduate student, alongside co-author Mark Seidenberg, a UW-Madison psychology professor who left USC in 2001.
Anne Sperling | EurekAlert!
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