Impaired Driving Performance as Evidence of a Magnocellular Deficit in Dyslexia and Visual Stress

Carri Fisher, Eugene Chekaluk*, Julia Irwin

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    High comorbidity and an overlap in symptomology have been demonstrated between dyslexia and visual stress. Several researchers have hypothesized an underlying or causal influence that may account for this relationship. The magnocellular theory of dyslexia proposes that a deficit in visuo-temporal processing can explain symptomology for both disorders. If the magnocellular theory holds true, individuals who experience symptomology for these disorders should show impairment on a visuo-temporal task, such as driving. Eighteen male participants formed the sample for this study. Self-report measures assessed dyslexia and visual stress symptomology as well as participant IQ. Participants completed a drive simulation in which errors in response to road signs were measured. Bivariate correlations revealed significant associations between scores on measures of dyslexia and visual stress. Results also demonstrated that self-reported symptomology predicts magnocellular impairment as measured by performance on a driving task. Results from this study suggest that a magnocellular deficit offers a likely explanation for individuals who report high symptomology across both conditions. While conclusions about the impact of these disorders on driving performance should not be derived from this research alone, this study provides a platform for the development of future research, utilizing a clinical population and on-road driving assessment techniques.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)350-360
    Number of pages11
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015


    • dyslexia
    • visual stress
    • magnocellular theory
    • driving
    • vision


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