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1.  The phonological and visual basis of developmental dyslexia in Brazilian Portuguese reading children 
Frontiers in Psychology  2014;5:1169.
Evidence from opaque languages suggests that visual attention processing abilities in addition to phonological skills may act as cognitive underpinnings of developmental dyslexia. We explored the role of these two cognitive abilities on reading fluency in Brazilian Portuguese, a more transparent orthography than French or English. Sixty-six children with developmental dyslexia and normal Brazilian Portuguese children participated. They were administered three tasks of phonological skills (phoneme identification, phoneme, and syllable blending) and three visual tasks (a letter global report task and two non-verbal tasks of visual closure and visual constancy). Results show that Brazilian Portuguese children with developmental dyslexia are impaired not only in phonological processing but further in visual processing. The phonological and visual processing abilities significantly and independently contribute to reading fluency in the whole population. Last, different cognitively homogeneous subtypes can be identified in the Brazilian Portuguese population of children with developmental dyslexia. Two subsets of children with developmental dyslexia were identified as having a single cognitive disorder, phonological or visual; another group exhibited a double deficit and a few children showed no visual or phonological disorder. Thus the current findings extend previous data from more opaque orthographies as French and English, in showing the importance of investigating visual processing skills in addition to phonological skills in children with developmental dyslexia whatever their language orthography transparency.
PMCID: PMC4196516  PMID: 25352822
developmental dyslexia; phonological processing; visual processing; subtypes; visual attention span
2.  Effect of Orthographic Processes on Letter Identity and Letter-Position Encoding in Dyslexic Children 
The ability to identify letters and encode their position is a crucial step of the word recognition process. However and despite their word identification problem, the ability of dyslexic children to encode letter identity and letter-position within strings was not systematically investigated. This study aimed at filling this gap and further explored how letter identity and letter-position encoding is modulated by letter context in developmental dyslexia. For this purpose, a letter-string comparison task was administered to French dyslexic children and two chronological age (CA) and reading age (RA)-matched control groups. Children had to judge whether two successively and briefly presented four-letter strings were identical or different. Letter-position and letter identity were manipulated through the transposition (e.g., RTGM vs. RMGT) or substitution of two letters (e.g., TSHF vs. TGHD). Non-words, pseudo-words, and words were used as stimuli to investigate sub-lexical and lexical effects on letter encoding. Dyslexic children showed both substitution and transposition detection problems relative to CA-controls. A substitution advantage over transpositions was only found for words in dyslexic children whereas it extended to pseudo-words in RA-controls and to all type of items in CA-controls. Letters were better identified in the dyslexic group when belonging to orthographically familiar strings. Letter-position encoding was very impaired in dyslexic children who did not show any word context effect in contrast to CA-controls. Overall, the current findings point to a strong letter identity and letter-position encoding disorder in developmental dyslexia.
PMCID: PMC3356879  PMID: 22661961
letter-string processing; letter-position encoding; letter-identity encoding; letter transposition; letter substitution; reading acquisition; dyslexic children

Results 1-2 (2)