The mediation role of dynamic multisensory processing using molecular genetic data in dyslexia

Sara Mascheretti, Valentina Riva, Bei Feng, Vittoria Trezzi, Chiara Andreola, Roberto Giorda, Marco Villa, Ginette Dionne, Simone Gori, Cecilia Marino, Andrea Facoetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although substantial heritability has been reported and candidate genes have been identified, we are far from understanding the etiopathogenetic pathways underlying developmental dyslexia (DD). Reading-related endophenotypes (EPs) have been established. Until now it was unknown whether they mediated the pathway from gene to reading (dis)ability. Thus, in a sample of 223 siblings from nuclear families with DD and 79 unrelated typical readers, we tested four EPs (i.e., rapid auditory processing, rapid automatized naming, multisensory nonspatial attention and visual motion processing) and 20 markers spanning five DD-candidate genes (i.e., DYX1C1, DCDC2, KIAA0319, ROBO1 and GRIN2B) using a multiple-predictor/multiple-mediator framework. Our results show that rapid auditory and visual motion processing are mediators in the pathway from ROBO1-rs9853895 to reading. Specifically, the T/T genotype group predicts impairments in rapid auditory and visual motion processing which, in turn, predict poorer reading skills. Our results suggest that ROBO1 is related to reading via multisensory temporal processing. These findings support the use of EPs as an effective approach to disentangling the complex pathways between candidate genes and behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number993
Number of pages20
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Candidate genes
  • Developmental dyslexia
  • Endophenotypes
  • Mediation
  • Multisensory temporal processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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