Research - Ricerche
There is uncertainty as to whether the deficits in developmental dyslexia extend beyond the language domain. In the present study, the time course of procedural learning of a motor sequence skill was followed over a 24 hour period. 13 dyslexic adults and 12 control adults matched for age and intelligence were asked to repeat a sequence of finger movements as many times as possible in 30s. They were then trained on the sequence for 400 slow, paced trials and then re-tested for maximum speed. A third testing session was carried out 24hrs after the initial tests (without any further practice). Performance of the two groups did not differ immediately after training, but the dyslexic group showed significant performance deficits initially and immediately after the 24hr break. The latter strongly suggests an impairment in consolidation of learning (a prerequisite for normal automatization), together with normal ability to learn during explicit practice. These findings applied strongly to some dyslexic participants whereas others performed normally, reflecting the considerable heterogeneity of this disorder. The findings provide a novel explanation of why dyslexic children have difficulty learning to read, and may have considerable applied and theoretical implications.
This research intends to investigate the impact of reading practice on children’s read-aloud abilities during the learning phase. In order to assess the importance of reading practice, the researchers have examined the possible adverse consequences arising from the substantial reduction in exercise during the summer vacation. According to the model adopted, groups of children from grade first to fifth in primary school have been given three different standardized tests (lists of words, pseudo-words and a text), in three distinct times of the year (end of school, beginning of school and two months after that). The available literature on the subject demonstrates that summer vacation can have a detrimental impact on maths computation and orthography whereas the results relating to reading abilities seem to be considerably disparate (Cooper, 1996; Allinder et al., 1992). The outcomes of this research prove that speed and accuracy parameters are affected differently by both the decrease and the increase in reading practice. All assessed classes have shown a regular increase in reading speed, and the suspension of the learning practice does not seem to have influenced the performance significantly. This improvement in reading speed apparently comes with an increase in the percentage of mistakes made after summer vacation, especially in the first classes. Therefore, the comparison of the provided results might suggest the existence of independent mechanisms lying behind the development and automaticity of the two examined factors.
Several studies have revealed that the working memory and its components are involved in the process of learning to read and Baddeley’s model (1986) best grasps this process as a whole. The first aim of this study is to carry out a longitudinal study on typical developed children, in order to assess the temporal evolution of the working memory process in relation to the transcoding process. The second purpose of this study is to compare the development of typical working memory process in children speaking two different languages characterized by different orthographic consistency. Methods. 134 children, 93 Italian and 41 English, are evaluated twice through a test battery during a 12 months period. The effects of gender and age are assessed on each variable of the test. The ANOVA test is used to assess notable discrepancies between sub-groups of children and a series of distinct correlation and regression analyses are carried out on both samples in the two administration times in order to assess the relation between working memory and decoding functions in both lexical and sub-lexical components. The Italian sample, in the preschool phase, shows that the decoding abilities particularly activates the short-term visuospatial component and only in minor part the verbal elements. During the first learning phases, instead, the verbal parts prevail on the visuospatial ones. In the English sample, during the preschool phase, the phonological decoding seems to be predicted by the short-term verbal memory, whereas the direct lexical access by the visuospatial memory ability. Instead, during the first learning phases, the English children show to employ more visuospatial resources in phonological decoding and more cognitive resources in lexical access. Pupils reading in English employ mainly logographic strategies in word recognition, whereas Italian children seem to principally adopt serial decoding strategies. This research proves that a developmental modification of the working memory system, consonantly with the native language, occurs after the beginning of an intentional and regular exposure to education. Moreover it is proved that various systems participate in the acquisition of the reading abilities, depending on the developmental stage.
Experiences & Tools - Strumenti
This study presents the results of a sublexical and lexical treatment provided through Reading Trainer™ software integrated in the online platform RIDInet, but constantly monitored by a clinical expert. Thirty-four children with in the accuracy and speed in reading a passage, lists of words and nonwords were analyzed with respect to a criterion of efficacy, corresponding to the expected change without specialized training, and according to a criterion of efficiency, corresponding to the change of syllables/second for each hour of training. Results show adequate values of efficacy and efficiency and significant impact on the reading fluency and accuracy, bringing further evidence of the validity of the treatment applied by using the Reading Trainer™ software.