Authors: Cara Verwimp , Jurgen Tijms , Patrick Snellings , Jonas M. B. Haslbeck and Reinout W. Wiers.

Article: A network approach to dyslexia: Mapping the reading network.

Publication: Development and Psychopathology (Cambridge University Press). Published Online 27 July 2021 2021 | DOI: 10.1017/S0954579421000365

[Full Text]


Research on the etiology of dyslexia typically uses an approach based on a single core deficit, failing to understand how variations in combinations of factors contribute to reading development and how this combination relates to intervention outcome. To fill this gap, this study explored links between 28 cognitive, environmental, and demographic variables related to dyslexia by employing a network analysis using a large clinical database of 1,257 elementary school children. We found two highly connected subparts in the network: one comprising reading fluency and accuracy measures, and one comprising intelligence-related measures. Interestingly, phoneme awareness was functionally related to the controlled and accurate processing of letter–speech sound mappings, whereas rapid automatized naming was more functionally related to the automated convergence of visual and speech information. We found evidence for the contribution of a variety of factors to (a)typical reading development, though associated with different aspects of the reading process. As such, our results contradict prevailing claims that dyslexia is caused by a single core deficit. This study shows how the network approach to psychopathology can be used to study complex interactions within the reading network and discusses future directions for more personalized interventions.

Tagged as: multiple-deficit model, network analysis, and reading network


Verwimp, C., Tijms, J., Snellings, P., Haslbeck, J., & Wiers, R. (2021). A network approach to dyslexia: Mapping the reading network. Development and Psychopathology, 1-15. doi:10.1017/S0954579421000365

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