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Increased Response to Altered Auditory Feedback in Dyslexia: A Weaker Sensorimotor Magnet Implied in the Phonological Deficit

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  • Mark R. van den Bunt
  • Margriet A. Groen
  • Takayuki Ito
  • Ana A. Francisco
  • Vincent L. Gracco
  • Ken R. Pugh
  • Ludo Verhoeven
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/03/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number3
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)654-667
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The purpose of this study was to examine whether developmental dyslexia (DD) is characterized by deficiencies in speech sensory and motor feedforward and feedback mechanisms, which are involved in the modulation of phonological representations.

A total of 42 adult native speakers of Dutch (22 adults with DD; 20 participants who were typically reading controls) were asked to produce /bep/ while the first formant (F1) of the /e/ was not altered (baseline), increased (ramp), held at maximal perturbation (hold), and not altered again (after-effect). The F1 of the produced utterance was measured for each trial and used for statistical analyses. The measured F1s produced during each phase were entered in a linear mixed-effects model.

Participants with DD adapted more strongly during the ramp phase and returned to baseline to a lesser extent when feedback was back to normal (after-effect phase) when compared with the typically reading group. In this study, a faster deviation from baseline during the ramp phase, a stronger adaptation response during the hold phase, and a slower return to baseline during the after-effect phase were associated with poorer reading and phonological abilities.

The data of the current study are consistent with the notion that the phonological deficit in DD is associated with a weaker sensorimotor magnet for phonological representations.