How dyslexia affects brain function: It’s not just about reading and language

| | April 7, 2017
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Dyslexia is not just about reading, or even language. It’s about something more fundamental: How much can the brain adapt to what it has just observed? People with dyslexia typically have less brain plasticity than those without dyslexia, two recent studies have found.

Though the studies measured people’s brain activity in two different ways and while performing different tasks, researchers at the Hebrew University of Israel, reporting in eLife, and researchers from MIT, reporting in Neuron, both found that dyslexics’ brains did not adapt as much to repeated stimuli, including spoken words, musical notes, and faces.

In the Hebrew University study, led by Merav Ahissar, researchers gave subjects a musical task: The researchers played two different notes and asked which was higher. Previous research has found that people do better on this task when one of the notes is a repeat of a note they’ve heard recently. But Ahissar found that people with dyslexia did not benefit as much from the repetition.

The MIT study, led by John Gabrieli, found similar results through a different experiment….Gabrieli’s team simply presented people with repeated things, including spoken words, written words, faces, and common objects like tables or chairs. During this task, dyslexic people’s neural activity demonstrated less adaptation.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Dyslexia Doesn’t Work the Way We Thought It Did

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