An accumulating body of evidence highlights the contribution of general cognitive processes, such as attention, to language-related skills.
Objective:The purpose of the present study was to explore how interference control (a subcomponent of selective attention) is affected in developmental dyslexia (DD) by means of control over simple stimulus-response mappings. Furthermore, we aimed to examine interference control in adults with DD across sensory modalities.
Methods:The performance of 14 dyslexic adults and 14 matched controls was compared on visual/auditory Simon tasks, in which conflict was presented in terms of an incongruent mapping between the location of a visual/auditory stimulus and the appropriate motor response.
Results:In the auditory task, dyslexic participants exhibited larger Simon effect costs; namely, they showed disproportionately larger reaction times (RTs)/errors costs when the auditory stimulus and response were incongruent relative to RT/errors costs of non-impaired readers. In the visual Simon task, both groups presented Simon effect costs to the same extent.
Conclusion:These results indicate that the ability to control auditory selective attention is carried out less effectively in those with DD compared with visually controlled processing. The implications of this impaired process for the language-related skills of individuals with DD are discussed.