Dyslexia and practice in the attentional blink

Evidence of slower task learning in dyslexia

Nicholas A. Badcock*, John H. Hogben, Janet F. Fletcher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we provide an extension to our previous investigation into dyslexia and the attentional blink (AB) (Badcock et al., 2008). The AB is a phenomenon of temporal attention whereby there is a performance cost in reporting a second target when it appears within 500. msec of a first target. We examined performance differences between the first and second 90 trials in a single AB session in a group of adult readers as well as in 6 blocks of 30 trials for T1 only. Overall, there was a significant improvement across the session but most critically, this improvement was greater in magnitude and slower in the phonological dyslexic observers than in control observers. Therefore, group differences were related to rate of improvement. In line with a recent review of the literature, it is suggested that the overall performance difference between the groups relates to general performance factors and not the AB per se. Whether extended practice would entirely attenuate the group difference remains to be seen but it is suggested that the general performance difference relates to development of successful coordination of visual and temporal uncertainties in the distracter and target stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-500
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

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