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Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2015;11:283-307. doi: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032814-112842. Epub 2015 Jan 14.

Developmental dyslexia.

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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, Colorado 80045; email:


This review uses a levels-of-analysis framework to summarize the current understanding of developmental dyslexia's etiology, brain bases, neuropsychology, and social context. Dyslexia is caused by multiple genetic and environmental risk factors as well as their interplay. Several candidate genes have been identified in the past decade. At the brain level, dyslexia is associated with aberrant structure and function, particularly in left hemisphere reading/language networks. The neurocognitive influences on dyslexia are also multifactorial and involve phonological processing deficits as well as weaknesses in other oral language skills and processing speed. We address contextual issues such as how dyslexia manifests across languages and social classes as well as what treatments are best supported. Throughout the review, we highlight exciting new research that cuts across levels of analysis. Such work promises eventually to provide a comprehensive explanation of the disorder as well as its prevention and remediation.


etiology; genetics; language; neuropsychology; reading disability

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