Spatial and temporal attention in developmental dyslexia

Milena Ruffino, Simone Gori, Daniela Boccardi, Massimo Molteni, Andrea Facoetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the dominant view posits that developmental dyslexia (DD) arises from a deficit in phonological processing, emerging evidence suggest that DD could result from a more basic cross-modal letter-to-speech sound integration deficit. Letters have to be precisely selected from irrelevant and cluttering letters by rapid orienting of visual attention before the correct letter-to-speech sound integration applies. In the present study the time-course of spatial attention was investigated measuring target detection reaction times (RTs) in a cuing paradigm, while temporal attention was investigated by assessing impaired identification of the first of two sequentially presented masked visual objects. Spatial and temporal attention were slower in dyslexic children with a deficit in pseudoword reading (N = 14) compared to chronological age (N = 43) and to dyslexics without a deficit in pseudoword reading (N = 18), suggesting a direct link between visual attention efficiency and phonological decoding skills. Individual differences in these visual attention mechanisms were specifically related to pseudoword reading accuracy in dyslexics. The role of spatial and temporal attention in the graphemic parsing process might be related to a basic oscillatory temporal sampling" dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number331
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Issue numberMAY
Publication statusPublished - May 22 2014


  • Phonological decoding
  • Reading disorder
  • Spatial attention
  • Temporal attention
  • Temporal sampling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neurology
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatial and temporal attention in developmental dyslexia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this