Is excessive visual crowding causally linked to developmental dyslexia?

Sara Bertoni, Sandro Franceschini, Luca Ronconi, Simone Gori, Andrea Facoetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For about 10% of children reading acquisition is extremely difficult because they are affected by a heritable neurobiological disorder called developmental dyslexia (DD), mainly associated to an auditory-phonological disorder. Visual crowding is a universal phenomenon that impairs the recognition of stimuli in clutter, such as a letter in a word or a word in a text. Several studies have shown an excessive crowding in individuals with DD, but the causal link between excessive crowding and DD is not yet clearly established. An excessive crowding might be, indeed, a simple effect of DD due to reduced reading experience. The results of five experiments in 181 children reveal that: (i)an excessive crowding only at unattended locations characterizes an unselected group of children with DD (Experiment 1); (ii)an extra-large spaced text increases reading accuracy by reducing crowding in an unselected group of children with DD (Experiment 2); (iii)efficient attentional action video game trainings reduce crowding and accelerate reading speed in two unselected groups of children with DD (Experiment 3 and 4), and; (iv)pre-reading crowding longitudinally predicts future poor readers (Experiment 5). Our results show multiple causal links between visual crowding and learning to read. These findings provide new insights for a more efficient remediation and prevention for DD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-117
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume130
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Dyslexia
Crowding
Reading
Enalaprilat
Video Games
Learning

Keywords

  • Dyslexia predictors
  • Dyslexia remediation
  • Reading disability
  • Spatial attention
  • Visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Bertoni, S., Franceschini, S., Ronconi, L., Gori, S., & Facoetti, A. (2019). Is excessive visual crowding causally linked to developmental dyslexia? Neuropsychologia, 130, 107-117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.04.018

Is excessive visual crowding causally linked to developmental dyslexia? / Bertoni, Sara; Franceschini, Sandro; Ronconi, Luca; Gori, Simone; Facoetti, Andrea.

In: Neuropsychologia, Vol. 130, 01.01.2019, p. 107-117.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bertoni, S, Franceschini, S, Ronconi, L, Gori, S & Facoetti, A 2019, 'Is excessive visual crowding causally linked to developmental dyslexia?', Neuropsychologia, vol. 130, pp. 107-117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.04.018
Bertoni, Sara ; Franceschini, Sandro ; Ronconi, Luca ; Gori, Simone ; Facoetti, Andrea. / Is excessive visual crowding causally linked to developmental dyslexia?. In: Neuropsychologia. 2019 ; Vol. 130. pp. 107-117.
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