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Cognition. 2008 Jun;107(3):999-1017. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2007.12.006. Epub 2008 Feb 12.

Speed of processing and reading disability: a cross-linguistic investigation of dyslexia and borderline intellectual functioning.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Psicologia, Universit√† degli Studi di Bologna, Viale Berti Pichat n.5, 40127 Bologna, Italy.


English and Italian children with dyslexia were compared with children with reading difficulties associated with low-IQ on tests of simple and choice RT, and in number and symbol scanning tasks. On all four speed-of-processing tasks, children with low-IQ responded more slowly than children with dyslexia and age-controls. In the choice RT task, the performance of children with low-IQ was also less accurate than that of children of normal IQ, consistent with theories linking processing speed limitations with low-IQ. These findings support the hypothesis that dyslexia is a specific cognitive deficit that can arise in the context of normal IQ and normal speed of processing. The same cognitive phenotype was observed in readers of a deep (English) and a shallow (Italian) orthography.

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