Deficits in temporal-order judgments in dyslexia: Evidence from diotic stimuli differing spectrally and from dichotic stimuli differing only by perceived location

Elisheva Ben-Artzi, Leah Fostick, Harvey Babkoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

The main debate concerning dyslexia focuses on the question of whether dyslexia is a language-specific disorder or a general nervous system dysfunction manifested in deficits of temporal processing. According to the temporal-order deficit hypothesis, dyslexia manifests difficulty in discriminating the temporal order of stimuli. Evidence has usually involved testing the ability to discriminate series of phonemes or pure tones whose components are separated by very short intervals. One of the difficulties in interpreting the data is the confound of changes in the spectrum with changes in temporal order. Two experiments are reported. In the first experiment, we verified the difficulty by adult dyslexics in judging the temporal order of two tones differing in frequency and presented diotically. The second experiment was designed to isolate temporal-order judgment (TOJ) from holistic frequency-based pattern discrimination processes. We tested temporal-order judgments with 15 ms duration tones of equal frequency presented dichotically (left-right, right-left) with ISI intervals ranging from 8 to 400 ms. Dichotic temporal threshold was significantly lower for adult normal readers than for the adult dyslexics. The results support the claim that adult dyslexics have difficulty in discriminating temporal order even when no spectral changes are involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-723
Number of pages10
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume43
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Auditory processing
  • Dyslexia
  • Reading
  • Temporal order

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