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Impaired Ability in Visual-Spatial Attention in Chinese Children With Developmental Dyslexia.

A growing body of evidence suggests that children with dyslexia in alphabetic languages exhibit visual-spatial attention deficits that can obstruct reading acquisition by impairing their phonological decoding skills. However, it remains an open question whether these visual-spatial attention deficits are present in children with dyslexia in non-alphabetic languages. Chinese, with its logographic writing system, offers a unique opportunity to explore this question. The presence of visual-spatial attention deficits in Chinese children with dyslexia remains insufficiently investigated. Therefore, this study aimed to explore whether such deficits exist, employing a visual search paradigm. Three visual search tasks were conducted, encompassing two singleton feature search tasks and a serial conjunction search task. The results indicated that Chinese children with dyslexia performed as well as chronological age-matched control children in color search tasks but less effectively in orientation search, suggesting a difficulty in the rapid visual processing of orientation: a deficit potentially specific to Chinese dyslexia. Crucially, Chinese children with dyslexia also exhibited lower accuracy, longer reaction times, and steeper slopes in the reaction times by set size function in the conjunction search task compared to control children, which is indicative of a visual-spatial attention deficit.

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