Enhanced N170 elicited by words in Chinese developmental dyslexia

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Impaired print tuning in dyslexia has been shown in alphabetic languages; whether we can observe the same in a nonalphabetic language such as Chinese is still questionable. The present study investigated the N170 component in response to Chinese words versus nonword pseudo-words in 10-year-old children with developmental dyslexia (DD) when they were asked to performed a lexical decision task. The N170 was enhanced for DD group than control group, regardless of Chinese words or pseudo-words. The group effect of N170 amplitudes was more robust for Chinese words over pseudo-words. Although the N170 did not show the word advantage in the control group, larger N170 for Chinese words versus pseudo-words was found in the DD group. These findings suggest that there was a dysfunction/inefficient processing in the early stage of processing Chinese words in patients with DD.

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