Speech-specific perceptual adaptation deficits in children and adults with dyslexia.


Ozernov-Palchik, O., Beach, S. D., Brown, M., Centanni, T., Gaab, N., Kuperberg, G. R., Perrachione, T., et al. (In Press). Speech-specific perceptual adaptation deficits in children and adults with dyslexia. Journal of Experimental Psychology.


According to several influential theoretical frameworks, phonological deficits in dyslexia result from reduced sensitivity to acoustic cues that are essential for the development of robust phonemic representations. Some accounts suggest that these deficits arise from impairments in rapid auditory adaptation processes that are either speech-specific or domain-general. Here, we examined the specificity of auditory adaptation deficits in dyslexia using a non-linguistic tone anchoring (adaptation) task and a linguistic selective adaptation task in children and adults with and without dyslexia. Children and adults with dyslexia had elevated tone-frequency discrimination thresholds, but both groups benefitted from anchoring to repeated stimuli to the same extent as typical readers. Additionally, although both dyslexia groups had overall reduced accuracy for speech sound identification, only the child group had reduced categorical perception for speech. Across both age groups, individuals with dyslexia had reduced perceptual adaptation to speech. These results highlight broad auditory perceptual deficits across development in individuals with dyslexia for both linguistic and non-linguistic domains, but speech-specific adaptation deficits. Finally, mediation models in children and adults revealed that the causal pathways from basic perception and adaptation to phonological awareness through speech categorization were not significant. Thus, rather than having causal effects, perceptual deficits may co-occur with the phonological deficits in dyslexia across development.

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Last updated on 10/28/2021