The relationship of phonological ability, speech perception, and auditory perception in adults with dyslexia

Law, J. M. , Vandermosten, M., Ghesquiere, P. and Wouters, J. (2014) The relationship of phonological ability, speech perception, and auditory perception in adults with dyslexia. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 482. (doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00482) (PMID:25071512) (PMCID:PMC4078926)

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This study investigated whether auditory, speech perception and phonological skills are tightly interrelated or independently contributing to reading. We assessed each of these three skills in 36 adults with a past diagnosis of dyslexia and 54 matched normal reading adults. Phonological skills were tested by the typical threefold tasks, i.e. rapid automatic naming, verbal short term memory and phonological awareness. Dynamic auditory processing skills were assessed by means of a frequency modulation (FM) and an amplitude rise time (RT); an intensity discrimination task (ID) was included as a non-dynamic control task. Speech perception was assessed by means of sentences and words in noise tasks. Group analysis revealed significant group differences in auditory tasks (i.e. RT and ID) and in phonological processing measures, yet no differences were found for speech perception. In addition, performance on RT discrimination correlated with reading but this relation was mediated by phonological processing and not by speech in noise. Finally, inspection of the individual scores revealed that the dyslexic readers showed an increased proportion of deviant subjects on the slow-dynamic auditory and phonological tasks, yet each individual dyslexic reader does not display a clear pattern of deficiencies across the levels of processing skills. Although our results support phonological and slow-rate dynamic auditory deficits which relate to literacy, they suggest that at the individual level, problems in reading and writing cannot be explained by the cascading auditory theory. Instead, dyslexic adults seem to vary considerably in the extent to which each of the auditory and phonological factors are expressed and interact with environmental and higher-order cognitive influences.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research has been financed by the research fund of the KU Leuven (grants dBOF/12/014 and OT/12/044). Funding was also provided by the Science Foundation Flanders (grant G.0920.12).
Keywords:Auditory processing, dyslexia, adults, reading, rise time.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Law, Dr Jeremy
Authors: Law, J. M., Vandermosten, M., Ghesquiere, P., and Wouters, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN (Online):1662-5161
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 Law, Vandermosten, Ghesquiere and Wouters
First Published:First published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8: 482
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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