Eighteen surface dyslexics were studied. Their reading deficit was evaluated on the basis of two standard test batteries. Nine subjects were submitted to reading training that consisted of reading briefly presented words. Nine dyslexics acted as a control group (receiving delayed treatment). Accuracy and speed of reading improved after therapy; also the performance in a lexical decision task improved. No effect was observed for a task using homophone contrasts. Furthermore, reading comprehension did not change as a function of training. All dyslexics were submitted to two experimental procedures: measurement of vocal reaction times (RTs) to reading single words and analysis of eye movements in reading short passages. Vocal RTs were faster for the treated group after therapy. As for eye movements, mean fixation duration was shorter after training. Other parameters (number and size of rightward saccades and number of regressions) showed small improvement with time, independent of training. When the control group was submitted to therapy in the next school year, similar improvements in reading were obtained. Overall, training affected reading parameters that appear to reflect the speed of extraction of visual information.
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