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Neuropsychologia. 2019 Jul;130:100-106. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.10.023. Epub 2018 Nov 3.

Improving action video games abilities increases the phonological decoding speed and phonological short-term memory in children with developmental dyslexia.

Author information

1
Developmental and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, Department of General Psychology, University of Padua, Padova 35131, Italy. Electronic address: sandro.franceschini@unipd.it.
2
Developmental and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, Department of General Psychology, University of Padua, Padova 35131, Italy. Electronic address: sara.bertoni@phd.unipd.it.

Abstract

Learning to read is extremely difficult for about 10% of the children because they are affected by a heritable neurobiological disorder called developmental dyslexia (DD). The causal role of cognitive deficits typically associated to DD can be investigated through intervention studies. It has been demonstrated that visual-attention and reading speed could be simultaneously improved by using action video game (AVG) training both in shallow and deep alphabetic orthographies. Here, in a clinical study we showed that after this general-domain behavioral intervention both the phonological decoding speed and phonological short-term memory were increased only in DD children in which their video game score was improved. These findings confirm that an AVG training enhances the efficiency of both visual and auditory processing. The plasticity of the multi-sensory attentional network could explain the reading and reading-related improvements induced by the AVG training in children with DD.

KEYWORDS:

Dyslexia remediation; Fronto-parietal attentional network; Reading behavioral intervention; Reading difficulties

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