Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Tackling the ‘dyslexia paradox’: reading brain and behavior for early markers of developmental dyslexia

an article by Ola Ozernov-Palchik (Boston Children's Hospital, USA and Tufts University, Medford, USA) and Nadine Gaab (Boston Children's Hospital, USA and Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, USA) published in WIREs Cognitive Science Volume 7 Issue 2 (March/April 2016)


Developmental dyslexia is an unexplained inability to acquire accurate or fluent reading that affects approximately 5–17% of children. Dyslexia is associated with structural and functional alterations in various brain regions that support reading. Neuroimaging studies in infants and pre-reading children suggest that these alterations predate reading instruction and reading failure, supporting the hypothesis that variant function in dyslexia susceptibility genes lead to atypical neural migration and/or axonal growth during early, most likely in utero, brain development.

Yet, dyslexia is typically not diagnosed until a child has failed to learn to read as expected (usually in second grade or later). There is emerging evidence that neuroimaging measures, when combined with key behavioral measures, can enhance the accuracy of identification of dyslexia risk in pre-reading children but its sensitivity, specificity, and cost-efficiency is still unclear. Early identification of dyslexia risk carries important implications for dyslexia remediation and the amelioration of the psychosocial consequences commonly associated with reading failure.

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