Neurolinguistic patterns of children with reading ... Neurolinguistic patterns of children with

Neurolinguistic patterns of children with reading ... Neurolinguistic patterns of children with

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  • Neurolinguistic patterns of children with reading disabilities: preliminary results

    Norberto Cardoso-Pereira1,2, Maria Armanda Costa2, Manuela Guerreiro3

    1NeuroCog Centro de Reabilitao da Leso Cerebral, Portugal 2Laboratory of Psycholinguistics, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal 3Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

    norberto.pereira@neurocog.pt

    Table 1 - Sample Characterization.

    Discussion

    Previous studies have reported the following deficits in children with learning disabilities, specifically: 1. Sequence problems (Conde-Guzn et al. 2009); 2. Difficulty processing

    temporal indexes (Crespo & Narbona, 2006); 3. Poor discrimination between rapid and simultaneously auditory stimulus (Crespo & Narbona, 2006; Nicolson & Fawcett, 2010);

    4. Reduced processing velocity in linguistic and non-linguistic activities (Crespo & Narbona, 2006); 5. Temporal perception deficit (Crespo & Narbona, 2006); 6. Verbal processing

    (Loge et al., 1990); 7. Verbal fluency errors (Carte et al., 1996); 8. Working memory, phonological and short-term verbal memory (Crespo e & Narbona, 2006; Muoz & Carballo,

    2005; Barkley, 1997; Nicolson & Fawcett, 2010); 9. Symbolic game difficulties (Muoz & Carballo, 2005); 10. Tactile recognition errors (Muoz & Carballo, 2005); 11. Poor visual

    discrimination (Muoz & Carballo, 2005); 12. Grapheme-phonemic decoding problems (Crespo & Narbona, 2006); 13. Deficits in Attention, decoding, memory and executive func-

    tion (Buiza-Navarrete et al., 2007); 14. Poor balance and motor skills (Nicolson & Fawcett, 2010).

    Conclusions

    For both reading groups there is highly word-frequency and word-length effects. Words that were more difficult to identify received more fixations than words that were relatively

    easier to process. The length and frequency effects were observed both for the initial encounter on a word as well as for frequency of making a regression to the target word. The

    effects were largely due to more difficult words attracting multiple fixations on them. This was particularly the case with the word-length effect. In addition, word frequency also in-

    fluenced the duration of initial fixation on the target word. It was longest for low-frequency words and shortest for medium-frequency words. We were able to conclude that ADHD

    and dyslexic children share atypical eye movement patterns in the core of their reading disabilities when decoding words of different length and frequency, due to different underly-

    ing cognitive mechanisms that were not present in the control group.

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    Introduction

    Learning disabilities (LD) - neurobiological condition, involving deficits in cognitive processes, and ability to learn (National Joint Committee on Learning Dis-

    abilities [NJCLD], 2008). LD of scholastic skills are characterized by significant impairments in acquisition of reading, spelling or arithmetical skills (Kohli,

    Kaur, Mohanty et al., 2006). Some subgroups of children with LD may have more difficulties with information processing speed, short-term and working

    memory, and auditory processing when compared with children of the same age (Macintyre & Deponio, 2003). There is a need to understand both the dis-

    tinctive aspects of and the considerable overlap between each specific learning disorder (SLD) as they may have different underlying mechanisms (Kohli,

    Kaur, Mohanty et al., 2006).

    Reading disabilities (RD) - common feature among LD. The main challenges children with RD face are accurate word recognition and decoding, reading flu-

    ency, and spelling (Oyler, Obrzut, Asbjornsen, 2012). Most often the co-morbidity along with this condition is Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder

    (ADHD) and developmental dyslexia (de Jong, Van De Voorde, Roeyers et al., 2009). While the linguistic semiology related to learning disabilities has been

    extensively studied, there are only a handful of studies till date examining neuropsychological profiles of children with reading disabilities (Conde-Guzn et

    al., 2009).

    Developmental dyslexia - unexpected, specific, and persistent failure to acquire efficient reading skills despite conventional instruction, adequate intelli-

    gence, and sociocultural opportunity (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2002). It has an estimated prevalence of 5 to 10% (Flynn & Rahbar, 1994), is

    the reading disability that most adversely affects academic performance (Artigas-Pallars, 2009). This condition encompasses a host of deficits, and alt-

    hough massively studied, numerous doubts exist regarding the interrelationship between various cognitive functions (Nicolson & Fawcett, 2010).

    ADHD - has a 5 to 9% prevalence in children with school age (Shaywitz & Shaywitz, 1996) and in 15 to 40% of cases it appears as a comorbid condition

    with dyslexia (Holborow & Berry, 1986). Children with ADHD present non diagnosed deficits in oral language, in comprehension and in syntax formation and/

    or pragmatic rules. Interestingly, these deficits appear frequently in the absence of phonological processing deficit (Bruce, Thernlund, Nettelbladt, 2006).

    Methodology

    Participants - 21 children, with ages between 8 and 9 years, divided into three groups: a control group (non-dyslexic), a group with dyslexia and another with

    ADHD. All participants were submitted to a neuropsychological evaluation to assess cognitive functions such as attention, executive function, working

    memory and visuo-perceptive functioning. Reading performance was measured with linguistic instruments and eye-tracking. The three groups were matched

    on the level of scholarship. Inclusionary criteria for participants in all groups were: 1) a score of at least 85 on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 2)

    no evidence of neurological problems, 3) no uncorrected visual acuity or auditory deficits, 4) exposure to adequate instruction, 5) no serious economic prob-

    lems, and 6) Portuguese as the primary language spoken in the home.

    Apparatus - Eye movements were recorded using IVIEW XTM HI-SPEED from SensoMotoric Instruments.

    Materials - All participants read the same 4th-grade-level text from the 2013 Portuguese national assessment. This text was adapted so that some reading

    errors would be generated. The story, 264 words long, dealt with deep sea exploration. From the text, words of variable length and frequency