Although developmental reading disorders (developmental dyslexia) have been mainly associated with auditory-phonological deficits, recent longitudinal and training studies have shown a possible causal role of visuo-attentional skills in reading acquisition. Indeed, visuo-attentional mechanisms could be involved in the orthographic processing of the letter string and the graphemic parsing that precede the grapheme-to-phoneme mapping. Here, we used a simple paper-and-pencil task composed of three labyrinths to measure visuo-spatial attention in a large sample of primary school children (n = 398). In comparison to visual search tasks requiring visual working memory, our labyrinth task mainly measures distributed and focused visuo-spatial attention, also controlling for sensorimotor learning. Compared to typical readers (n = 340), children with reading difficulties (n = 58) showed clear visuo-spatial attention impairments that appear not linked to motor coordination and procedural learning skills implicated in this paper and pencil task. Since visual attention is dysfunctional in about 40% of the children with reading difficulties, an efficient reading remediation program should integrate both auditory-phonological and visuo-attentional interventions.

Visuo-spatial attention deficit in children with reading difficulties

Franceschini, Sandro
;
Puccio, Giovanna;Gori, Simone;Termine, Cristiano;Facoetti, Andrea
2022

Abstract

Although developmental reading disorders (developmental dyslexia) have been mainly associated with auditory-phonological deficits, recent longitudinal and training studies have shown a possible causal role of visuo-attentional skills in reading acquisition. Indeed, visuo-attentional mechanisms could be involved in the orthographic processing of the letter string and the graphemic parsing that precede the grapheme-to-phoneme mapping. Here, we used a simple paper-and-pencil task composed of three labyrinths to measure visuo-spatial attention in a large sample of primary school children (n = 398). In comparison to visual search tasks requiring visual working memory, our labyrinth task mainly measures distributed and focused visuo-spatial attention, also controlling for sensorimotor learning. Compared to typical readers (n = 340), children with reading difficulties (n = 58) showed clear visuo-spatial attention impairments that appear not linked to motor coordination and procedural learning skills implicated in this paper and pencil task. Since visual attention is dysfunctional in about 40% of the children with reading difficulties, an efficient reading remediation program should integrate both auditory-phonological and visuo-attentional interventions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3455986
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