August 2014
Volume 14, Issue 10
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2014
Remediation of abnormal visual motion processing significantly improves attention, reading fluency, and working memory in dyslexics
Author Affiliations
  • Teri Lawton
    Department of Computer Science and Engineering, UCSD, La Jolla, California 92093
  • Jordan Conway
    Department of Computer Science and Engineering, UCSD, La Jolla, California 92093
  • Steven Edland
    Department of Neurosciences and Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, UCSD, La Jolla, California 92093
Journal of Vision August 2014, Vol.14, 621. doi:10.1167/14.10.621
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      Teri Lawton, Jordan Conway, Steven Edland; Remediation of abnormal visual motion processing significantly improves attention, reading fluency, and working memory in dyslexics. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):621. doi: 10.1167/14.10.621.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Introduction. This study investigates the assumption that reading deficiencies are only phonologically-based by testing the relative efficacy of current visual and auditory timing interventions to treat dyslexia. Methods. We performed a randomized trial on 75 dyslexic second graders in six public elementary schools, comparing interventions targeting the temporal dynamics of either the auditory (FastForWord 30 minutes per day, five days per week), or visual (PATHtoReading 30 minutes per day, three days per week) pathways for 20 weeks, or a combination of auditory (for 10 weeks) and visual (for 10 weeks) interventions, with the school's regular reading intervention Learning Upgrade, (control group). Interventions were administered before guided reading, so students practiced reading after the timing interventions. Standardized tests of reading fluency, attention, and working memory were used to evaluate improvements in cognitive function. Changes in standardized scores before and after the intervention training were analyzed by ANCOVAs to compare treatment response across groups. Results. Most dyslexics in this study had significantly elevated contrast thresholds for movement discrimination when compared to those for typically-developing second-graders. Only visual movement-discrimination training to remediate abnormal visual motion processing significantly improved contrast thresholds for movement-discrimination, reading fluency (both speed and comprehension), phonological processing, attention, and both visual and auditory working memory. ANCOVAs found that most results were statistically highly significant. Auditory training to improve phonological processing did not significantly improve these skills in schools administering both auditory and visual interventions. Conclusions. The significant improvements in phonological processing and auditory working memory under the PATH regimen demonstrate that visual movement-discrimination training improves auditory skills even though it is designed to train visual skills. These results provide more evidence that visual motion processing is fundamental for learning to read and remediating reading and attention deficits, and argue against the assumption that reading deficiencies in dyslexia are only phonologically-based.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014

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