Italian developmental dyslexic and proficient readers: Where are the differences?

Laura Barca, Cristina Burani, Gloria Di Filippo, Pierluigi Zoccolotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Italian dyslexic children are characterized by a pervasive reading speed deficit, with relatively preserved accuracy. This pattern has been associated with predominant use of the nonlexical reading procedure. However, there is no evidence of a deficit in the lexical route of Italian dyslexics. We investigated both lexical and nonlexical reading procedures in dyslexic children through two marker effects, namely, the word frequency effect and the effect of contextual grapheme-to-phoneme conversion rules. Although dyslexics were slower and less accurate than controls, they were affected by word frequency, grapheme contextuality, and their interaction in a similar manner as average readers. These results show the use of lexical reading in Italian dyslexics, and refute the claim of a deficit in whole-word processing with consequent over-reliance on the nonlexical route.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-351
Number of pages5
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006


  • Dyslexia
  • Lexical reading
  • Word reading aloud

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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