December 2001
Volume 1, Issue 3
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2001
Cross-modal perceptual learning as demonstrated in dyslexics
Author Affiliations
  • G. Geiger
    CBCL, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT, Cambridge MA, USA
  • M. L. Lorusso
    IRCCS “E. Medea”, La Nostra Famiglia, Bosisio-Parini, Italy
  • S. Pesenti
    IRCCS “E. Medea”, La Nostra Famiglia, Bosisio-Parini, Italy
  • A. Facoetti
    Department of General Psychology, Padova University, Italy
  • C. Cattaneo
    IRCCS “E. Medea”, La Nostra Famiglia, Bosisio-Parini, Italy
  • J. Lettvin
    RLE, MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA
Journal of Vision December 2001, Vol.1, 249. doi:
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      G. Geiger, M. L. Lorusso, S. Pesenti, A. Facoetti, C. Cattaneo, J. Lettvin; Cross-modal perceptual learning as demonstrated in dyslexics. Journal of Vision 2001;1(3):249.

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

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Abstract: Complex task performance characteristically involves multiple-modal sensory perception. Would the learning of a new task by visual and visuomotor practice also results in improved performance in the auditory-phonemic modality? Dyslexics (one group of 14 adults and another of 17 children) who were impaired in reading and phonemic abilities, were characterized by a wide region of visual attention. They practiced a regimen comprised of novel hand-eye coordination tasks (art work and the like) and reading single words with a mask (a small window in a blank sheet), together for 50 minutes to 2 hours per day over 4 to 8 months. As a result of the practice the dyslexics learned a new perceptual strategy, which was expressed by narrowing the region of visual attention and concurrently improved reading significantly. Tests of auditory-phonemic skills and reading of nonsense words (considered as a measure for phonemic awareness) also showed a significant improvement although auditory-phonemic practice was not included in the regimen. This improvement of the psycho-auditory skill as a consequence of a regimen, which includes only hand-eye coordination practice together with visual recognition of single words, indicates close cross-modal interactions. That suggests two possibilities. Either a strategy is sensory-modality specific, and once it is learned by that modality there can be a “spill-over” to other modalities by association. Or, there is a general perceptual strategy which governs perception, i.e. once a strategy is learned in one sensory modality it is learned for other modalities.

Geiger, G., Lorusso, M.L., Pesenti, S., Facoetti, A., Cattaneo, C., Lettvin, J.(2001). Cross-modal perceptual learning as demonstrated in dyslexics [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 1( 3): 249, 249a,, doi:10.1167/1.3.249. [CrossRef]

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