Fuzzy scheduling: visual and auditory temporal comparison deficits in developmental dyslexia

Philip J Benson, Lisa Wallace, Sara A Beedie

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractpeer-review


Dyslexia is very common, affecting about 25% of school-aged children. If left untreated at an early stage, reading failure can lead to social and mental health problems which may present in early adulthood. Attention and coordination deficits in dyslexia are also comorbid in ADHD, autism spectrum, dyspraxia and dysphasia. Sensorimotor explanations of dyslexia therefore appeal to impaired development of transient magnosystems in the brain. Young, university-educated adults with confirmed developmental reading disorder (RD) and normal reading (NR) ability judged whether a tone-pair interval was shorter or longer than a reference interval. Response latency and accuracy were impaired in RD compared with NR. The same deficits were found using a visual analogy of the auditory task. These findings were replicated in a second RD and NR cohort. Education and/or learning strategies seem not to have normalised the temporal processing deficit in RD individuals. Diminished sensitivity to temporal information is characteristic of dyslexia. In these experiments, individuals with reading disorder required larger differences between temporally-bound sensory events in order to demarcate salient cues from fuzzy auditory and visual representations, benchmarked against a weak or sub-optimally calibrated reference. Results are interpreted within the orthographic and phonological framework of problems experienced in dyslexia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188
Number of pages1
Issue numberECVP Abstract Supplement
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


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