Authors: Zoï Kapoula, Thanh-Thuan Lê, Audrey Bonnet, Pauline Bourtoire, Emilie Demule, Caroline Fauvel, Catherine Quilicci & Qing Yang.
Publication: Experimental Brain Research (Springer). 203, 419–425 2010 | DOI: 10.1007/s00221-010-2247-x
The Stroop test enables interference between color naming and reading to be studied. Protopapas et al. (2007) reported more errors in an interference task and longer reaction times in 12.5-year-old dyslexics; also more Stroop interference with lower reading skills. The present study uses a version of the Stroop with four color cards and aims to test interference and flexibility in older dyslexic teenagers. The four cards are: color naming, reading, interference and flexibility. In the latter, subjects have to name the color of the word inhibiting reading except when the word is inside a box. This flexibility task enables the testing of the capacity for cognitive switching between tasks. Ten dyslexics (15.1 ± 0.7 years old) and fourteen controls (14.3 ± 1.6 years old) participated in the study. All performed the color naming, the reading, the interference and the flexibility tasks in the same order. Subsequently, they performed a sequence of 60 saccades left–right followed by the interference task. Generally, dyslexic teenagers behaved similarly to non-dyslexics as they showed fewer errors in reading and color than in the interference and flexibility tasks. However, they made more errors and needed more time to accomplish each task than non-dyslexics. The results suggest that the inhibitory and attention processes required by the Stroop test are dysfunctioning even in older dyslexics. In contrast, the study shows no evidence for particular difficulty in the flexibility task, which would constitute an argument against problems with mental switching. Following the execution of saccades, errors in the interference test were significantly reduced for dyslexics, while the time was reduced for both groups. The effects are attributed to visual attention training via saccades.
Kapoula, Z., Lê, T., Bonnet, A. et al. Poor Stroop performances in 15-year-old dyslexic teenagers. Exp Brain Res 203, 419–425 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-010-2247-x