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What makes written words so special to the brain

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193790 Year: Pages: 267 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-379-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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Reading is an integral part of life in today's information-driven societies. Since the pioneering work of Dejerine on "word blindness" in brain-lesioned patients, the literature has increased exponentially, from neuropsychological case reports to mechanistic accounts of word processing at the behavioural, neurofunctional and computational levels, tapping into diverse aspects of visual word processing. These studies have revealed some exciting findings about visual word processing, including how the brain learns to read, how changes in literacy impact upon word processing strategies, and whether word processing mechanisms vary across different alphabetic, logographic or artificial writing systems. Other studies have attempted to characterise typical and atypical word processes in special populations in order to explain why dyslexic brains struggle with words, how multilingualism changes the way our brains see words, and what the exact developmental signatures are that would shape the acquisition of reading skills. Exciting new insights have also emerged from recent studies that have investigated word stimuli at the system/network level, by looking for instance, at how the reading system interacts with other cognitive systems in a context-dependent fashion, how visual language stimuli are integrated into the speech processing streams, how both left and right hemispheres cooperate and interact during word processing, and what the exact contributions of subcortical and cerebellar regions to reading are. The contributions to this Research Topic highlight the latest findings regarding the different issues mentioned above, particularly how these findings can explain or model the different processes, mechanisms, pathways or cognitive strategies by which the human brain sees words. The introductory editorial, summarising the contributions included here, highlights how varieties of behavioural tests and neuroimaging techniques can be used to investigate word processing mechanisms across different alphabetic and logographic writing systems.

Oscillatory "Temporal Sampling" and Developmental Dyslexia: Towards an Over-Arching Theoretical Framework

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194391 Year: Pages: 155 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-439-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Children with developmental dyslexia fail to acquire efficient reading and spelling skills despite adequate tuition and an absence of overt sensory and/ or neural deficits. Learning to read and spell requires linguistic skills, auditory skills and visual skills. Oscillatory 'temporal sampling' theory links the development of sensory and linguistic processes. The auditory system 'samples' acoustic information at different temporal rates, which for speech processing suggests that temporal information encoded by delta, theta and gamma oscillations is bound together in the final speech percept. Temporal sampling theory proposed a possible deficit in dyslexia in auditory sampling of the speech signal at syllable-relevant rates (< 10 Hz, delta and theta). This would hypothetically affect prosodic development prior to reading and syllable-based parsing, which would affect efficient linguistic skills and consequently reading development across languages. The visual system also samples information in the visuo-spatial field. In theory atypical visual oscillatory sampling could therefore be related to some of the visual features of developmental dyslexia. In this special issue, we bring together visual and auditory sensory processing studies around the general theme of oscillatory temporal sampling. Contributors were encouraged to discuss their findings within a temporal sampling perspective. The resulting studies cover a wide range of sensory processes, with findings both supporting and contradicting the theory. It is also important to note that studies covered a wide range of languages, and that the behavioural manifestations of a sampling impairment may differ both with language and over the course of development. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see such diverse findings considered within a single theoretical framework, even if at the same time, it is apparent that an over-arching theoretical framework encompassing both visual and auditory deficits in dyslexia is yet to be achieved.

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