Authors: Jeremy M. Law, Maaike Vandermosten, Pol Ghesquiere, and Jan Wouters.

Article: The relationship of phonological ability, speech perception, and auditory perception in adults with dyslexia..

Publication: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (Frontiers). 8, Article 482 2014 | DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00482

[Full Text]


This study investigated whether auditory, speech perception, and phonological skills are tightly interrelated or independently contributing to reading. We assessed each of these three skills in 36 adults with a past diagnosis of dyslexia and 54 matched normal reading adults. Phonological skills were tested by the typical threefold tasks, i.e., rapid automatic naming, verbal short-term memory and phonological awareness. Dynamic auditory processing skills were assessed by means of a frequency modulation (FM) and an amplitude rise time (RT); an intensity discrimination task (ID) was included as a non-dynamic control task. Speech perception was assessed by means of sentences and words-in-noise tasks. Group analyses revealed significant group differences in auditory tasks (i.e., RT and ID) and in phonological processing measures, yet no differences were found for speech perception. In addition, performance on RT discrimination correlated with reading but this relation was mediated by phonological processing and not by speech-in-noise. Finally, inspection of the individual scores revealed that the dyslexic readers showed an increased proportion of deviant subjects on the slow-dynamic auditory and phonological tasks, yet each individual dyslexic reader does not display a clear pattern of deficiencies across the processing skills. Although our results support phonological and slow-rate dynamic auditory deficits which relate to literacy, they suggest that at the individual level, problems in reading and writing cannot be explained by the cascading auditory theory. Instead, dyslexic adults seem to vary considerably in the extent to which each of the auditory and phonological factors are expressed and interact with environmental and higher-order cognitive influences.

Tagged as: adult dyslexia, auditory processing, and phonological processing


Law, J. M., Vandermosten, M., Ghesquiere, P., & Wouters, J. (2014). The relationship of phonological ability, speech perception, and auditory perception in adults with dyslexia. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, Article 482.

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