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Full Access Multisensory integration deficits in developmental dyslexia

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Multisensory integration deficits in developmental dyslexia

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There is growing experimental support for the presence of specific deficits in the magnocellular visual pathway in dyslexia. The magnocellular system is thought to be involved in multisensory integration. As a result of impaired magnocellular function, specific deficits in multisensory integration may be observed in dyslexia. Multisensory integration differences were compared between dyslexics and matched controls, using simple reaction times. Four visual stimuli, preferentially activating the magnocellular or parvocellular visual systems, and white noise bursts were presented either alone or together and participants were instructed to respond as quickly as possible. Reaction times (RTs) to multisensory stimuli were predicted from the unisensory stimuli using Miller’s Race model (which assumes independence of the two channels). RTs to multisensory stimuli that exceeded the model (faster than predicted) provided evidence of multisensory integration. Dyslexics integrated less than matched controls. Differences between groups were more pronounced for magnocellular-preferred stimuli, and literacy scores were significantly correlated with the range of RTs demonstrating integration. These results provide further support for the magnocellular theory of dyslexia, and suggest a simple non-literacy based diagnostic or experimental tools.

Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, GB; 2: 2Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics, University of Oxford, GB; 3: 3Dept. de Tecnologies de la Informació i les Comunicacions, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, ES; 4: 4Oriel College, University of Oxford, GB

There is growing experimental support for the presence of specific deficits in the magnocellular visual pathway in dyslexia. The magnocellular system is thought to be involved in multisensory integration. As a result of impaired magnocellular function, specific deficits in multisensory integration may be observed in dyslexia. Multisensory integration differences were compared between dyslexics and matched controls, using simple reaction times. Four visual stimuli, preferentially activating the magnocellular or parvocellular visual systems, and white noise bursts were presented either alone or together and participants were instructed to respond as quickly as possible. Reaction times (RTs) to multisensory stimuli were predicted from the unisensory stimuli using Miller’s Race model (which assumes independence of the two channels). RTs to multisensory stimuli that exceeded the model (faster than predicted) provided evidence of multisensory integration. Dyslexics integrated less than matched controls. Differences between groups were more pronounced for magnocellular-preferred stimuli, and literacy scores were significantly correlated with the range of RTs demonstrating integration. These results provide further support for the magnocellular theory of dyslexia, and suggest a simple non-literacy based diagnostic or experimental tools.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22134808-000s0012
2013-05-16
2016-12-03

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