Reading and visual processing in Greek dyslexic children: an eye-movement study

Anna Hatzidaki, Maria Gianneli, Eftichis Petrakis, Nikolaos Makaronas, Ioannis M Aslanides
Dyslexia: the Journal of the British Dyslexia Association 2011, 17 (1): 85-104
We examined the impact of the effects of dyslexia on various processing and cognitive components (e.g., reading speed and accuracy) in a language with high phonological and orthographic consistency. Greek dyslexic children were compared with a chronological age-matched group on tasks that tested participants' phonological and orthographic awareness during reading and spelling, as well as their efficiency to detect a specific target-letter during a sequential visual search task. Dyslexic children showed impaired reading and spelling that was reflected in slow reading speed and error-prone performance, especially for non-words. Eye movement measures of text reading also provided supporting evidence for a reading deficit, with dyslexic participants producing more fixations and longer fixation duration as opposed to non-dyslexic participants. The results of the visual search task showed similar performance between the two groups, but when they were compared with the results of text reading, dyslexic participants were found to be able to process fewer stimuli (i.e., letters) at each fixation than non-dyslexics. Our findings further suggest that, although Greek dyslexics have the advantage of a consistent orthographic system which facilitates acquisition of reading and phonological awareness, they demonstrate more impaired access to orthographic forms than dyslexics of other transparent orthographies.

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