Atypical cortical entrainment to speech in the right hemisphere underpins phonemic deficits in dyslexia

Giovanni M. Di Liberto*, Varghese Peter, Marina Kalashnikova, Usha Goswami, Denis Burnham, Edmund C. Lalor

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    91 Citations (Scopus)


    Developmental dyslexia is a multifaceted disorder of learning primarily manifested by difficulties in reading, spelling, and phonological processing. Neural studies suggest that phonological difficulties may reflect impair- ments in fundamental cortical oscillatory mechanisms. Here we examine cortical mechanisms in children (6–12 years of age) with or without dyslexia (utilising both age- and reading-level-matched controls) using electroen- cephalography (EEG). EEG data were recorded as participants listened to an audio-story. Novel electrophysio- logical measures of phonemic processing were derived by quantifying how well the EEG responses tracked phonetic features of speech. Our results provide, for the first time, evidence for impaired low-frequency cortical tracking to phonetic features during natural speech perception in dyslexia. Atypical phonological tracking was focused on the right hemisphere, and correlated with traditional psychometric measures of phonological skills used in diagnostic dyslexia assessments. Accordingly, the novel indices developed here may provide objective metrics to investigate language development and language impairment across languages.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)70-79
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2018


    • cortical tracking
    • language impairment
    • natural speech
    • EEG
    • neuromarker
    • objective measure


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