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Optom Vis Sci. 2007 Mar;84(3):229-36.

L/M speed-matching ratio predicts reading in children.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, California 91711, USA.



Many behavioral studies have found impaired perception of dynamic visual stimuli in dyslexia and several neuroimaging studies have found reduced activation of the human motion area MT+ in dyslexia. These results are often interpreted as a magnocellular (MC) deficit in dyslexia. It has also been claimed that colored filters can help dyslexics to read. One defining feature of the MC-pathway is a greater weight for L-cone input than M-cone input, and at most very weak S-cone input. We measured the subjective speed matches between L-, M-, and S-cone isolating stimuli in good and poor readers.


Subjects performed a speed-matching task with drifting cone-isolating stimuli to find the point of subjective equality between two drifting patterns. Such a task is known to activate cortical area MT+, presumably via the MC-pathway.


L- to M-cone speed-match ratios were negatively correlated with single-word (r=-0.46) and irregular-word reading (r=-0.56) but not with non-word reading.


Results suggest that relative L-cone sensitivity within the MC-pathway may limit orthographic reading performance.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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