Auditory processing in the dyslexic brain

Melanie Reid, Blake W. Johnson, Genevieve McArthur, Anne Castles, Michael Hautus

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    A prominent theory of dyslexia states that it is caused, at least in part, by neural deficits in processing auditory information. We examined children with dyslexia for their brain responses to sounds which were designed to challenge the temporal processing capabilities of the auditory system. The sounds were 500-ms broadband noises containing a binaurally embedded pitch. Event-related brain responses were measured with simultaneous 64-channel electroencephalography (EEG) and 160-channel magnetoencephalography (MEG). Nine children with dyslexia and 9 age-matched controls were tested (2 females in each group, Mean age 9.5). During the brain measurements children viewed a video and ignored the acoustic stimuli. Children tolerated the experimental environment well and we were able to collect data from all subjects for 800 trials over a 40-minute experimental session. This resulted in auditory responses with a high signal-to-noise ratio, important because children's auditory responses tend to be considerably noisier and more variable than those of adults. Results showed a delayed neural response to binaural pitches in children with dyslexia compared to control children.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationASCS09
    Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the 9th conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science
    EditorsWayne Christensen, Elizabeth Schier, John Sutton
    Place of PublicationNorth Ryde, NSW
    PublisherMacquarie Centre for Cognitive Science
    Number of pages5
    ISBN (Print)9780646529189
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    EventConference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science (9th : 2009) - Sydney
    Duration: 30 Sep 20092 Oct 2009


    ConferenceConference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science (9th : 2009)

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright 2009 by the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science. Publisher version archived with the permission of the Editor, ASCS09 : Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science. This copy is available for individual, non-commercial use. Permission to reprint/republish this version for other uses must be obtained from the publisher.


    • auditory processing
    • dyslexia
    • neuroimaging
    • dichotic pitch


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