Sleep-related declarative memory consolidation in children and adolescents with developmental dyslexia

Flaminia Reda, Maurizio Gorgoni, Aurora D’atri, Serena Scarpelli, Matteo Carpi, Erica Di Cola, Deny Menghini, Stefano Vicari, Giacomo Stella, Luigi De Gennaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sleep has a crucial role in memory processes, and maturational changes in sleep electro-physiology are involved in cognitive development. Albeit both sleep and memory alterations have been observed in Developmental Dyslexia (DD), their relation in this population has been scarcely investigated, particularly concerning topographical aspects. The study aimed to compare sleep topography and associated sleep-related declarative memory consolidation in participants with DD and normal readers (NR). Eleven participants with DD and 18 NR (9–14 years old) underwent a whole-night polysomnography. They were administered a word pair task before and after sleep to assess for declarative memory consolidation. Memory performance and sleep features (macro and microstructural) were compared between the groups, and the intercorrelations between consolidation rate and sleep measures were assessed. DD showed a deeper worsening in memory after sleep compared to NR and reduced slow spindles in occipito-parietal and left fronto-central areas. Our results suggest specific alterations in local sleep EEG (i.e., sleep spindles) and in sleep-dependent memory consolidation processes in DD. We highlight the importance of a topographical approach, which might shed light on potential alteration in regional cortical oscillation dynamics in DD. The latter might represent a target for therapeutic interventions aimed at enhancing cognitive functioning in DD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number73
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Developmental dyslexia
  • EEG topography
  • Learning disabilities
  • Memory consolidation
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep
  • Predic-tive neurocognitive factors
  • Sleep oscillations
  • Sleep spindles
  • Slow Wave Activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sleep-related declarative memory consolidation in children and adolescents with developmental dyslexia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this