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Curr Biol. 2013 Mar 18;23(6):462-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.01.044. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Action video games make dyslexic children read better.

Author information

1
Developmental and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, Department of General Psychology, University of Padua, Padua 35131, Italy.

Abstract

Learning to read is extremely difficult for about 10% of children; they are affected by a neurodevelopmental disorder called dyslexia [1, 2]. The neurocognitive causes of dyslexia are still hotly debated [3-12]. Dyslexia remediation is far from being fully achieved [13], and the current treatments demand high levels of resources [1]. Here, we demonstrate that only 12 hr of playing action video games-not involving any direct phonological or orthographic training-drastically improve the reading abilities of children with dyslexia. We tested reading, phonological, and attentional skills in two matched groups of children with dyslexia before and after they played action or nonaction video games for nine sessions of 80 min per day. We found that only playing action video games improved children's reading speed, without any cost in accuracy, more so than 1 year of spontaneous reading development and more than or equal to highly demanding traditional reading treatments. Attentional skills also improved during action video game training. It has been demonstrated that action video games efficiently improve attention abilities [14, 15]; our results showed that this attention improvement can directly translate into better reading abilities, providing a new, fast, fun remediation of dyslexia that has theoretical relevance in unveiling the causal role of attention in reading acquisition.

PMID:
23453956
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2013.01.044
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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