Deficits in beat perception and dyslexia: evidence from French

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Abstract

Recent research has suggested a novel link between deficits in the perception of cues relevant to speech rhythm (i.e., deficits in amplitude envelope rise time processing, or beat perception) and the phonological deficits seen in most dyslexic children. In this research, we investigated whether these beat perception deficits were specific to a stress-timed language, such as English, or whether they would generalize to languages with different rhythmic properties, such as French. Eighteen dyslexics, 18 reading level controls, and 20 chronological age controls were tested on a battery of phonological tasks, reading tasks and psychoacoustic tests. The results suggest that deficits in the perception of cues important for speech rhythm may be universal in developmental dyslexia.

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