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Neuropsychologia. 2010 Mar;48(4):863-72. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.11.003. Epub 2009 Nov 10.

Different underlying neurocognitive deficits in developmental dyslexia: a comparative study.

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Neuroscience Department, Children's Hospital Bambino Gesù, Research Hospital, Rome, Italy.


The aim of this study was to investigate the role of several specific neurocognitive functions in developmental dyslexia (DD). The performances of 60 dyslexic children and 65 age-matched normally reading children were compared on tests of phonological abilities, visual processing, selective and sustained attention, implicit learning, and executive functions. Results documented deficits in dyslexics on both phonological and non-phonological tasks. More stringently, in dyslexic children individual differences in non-phonological abilities accounted for 23.3% of unique variance in word reading and for 19.3% in non-word reading after controlling for age, IQ and phonological skills. These findings are in accordance with the hypothesis that DD is a multifactorial deficit and suggest that neurocognitive developmental dysfunctions in DD may not be limited to the linguistic brain area, but may involve a more multifocal cortical system.

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