Specific conditions for a selective deficit in memory for order in children with dyslexia

Marisa Giorgetti, Maria Luisa Lorusso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Short-term memory (STM) models distinguish between item and order memorization. The present study aims to explore how item and order STM are affected by the nature of the stimuli, the sequential versus simultaneous mode of presentation, the visual versus auditory presentation modality, the possibility of verbal recoding. A total of 20 children with dyslexia were matched one-by-one with 20 typically reading children on sex, age (8–14 years), and grade. Computerized STM tasks were administered while manipulating type (item vs. order), stimuli (letters vs. colors), sequentiality, input and output modality, as well as the presence/absence of articulatory suppression and distractors. General Linear Model analyses were conducted on accuracy scores for item and order STM. Both item and order recall scores were lower for children with dyslexia. Although order STM in the visual input condition turned out to be more impaired than item STM in the dyslexic group, both item and order memory impairments become evident when verbal recoding is prevented through articulatory suppression. Moreover, dyslexic children, unlike typical readers, were not facilitated by the linguistic nature of the stimuli to be remembered. The present findings suggest that the often-reported selective impairment of serial memory in dyslexia is restricted to stimuli that are verbal in nature or can be verbally recoded, whereas both item and order memory impairments become evident when verbal recoding is prevented through articulatory suppression. The presence of distractors is particularly detrimental to STM in the dyslexic group. The sensitivity to distractors, suppression, and stimuli in STM is predictive of reading performance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChild Neuropsychology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • computerized assessment
  • developmental dyslexia
  • item short-term memory
  • Order short-term memory
  • verbal recoding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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