Temporal processing in poor adult readers
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between two different temporal processing tasks and word identification performance in skilled, dyslexic and poor adult readers. In Experiment 1 spatial and temporal sequencing tasks were conducted. It was found that adult dyslexics were significantly less accurate than skilled readers across all conditions in the temporal sequencing task, and when higher numbers of stimuli were presented in the spatial task. Experiment 2 replicated Experiment 1 in the temporal sequencing task and also found that poor readers had significantly higher motion coherence thresholds than those found in the skilled reader group. Ten percent of the variance in coherence thresholds was accounted for by performance on the temporal sequencing task. Multiple regression analyses determined that performance on the two temporal tasks could explain seventy percent of the variance in word identification scores, with the temporal sequencing task making the larger independent contribution. Experiment 3 replicated the findings of Experiment 2, while taking into account IQ, verbal memory and processing speed. Three things were concluded. First, the temporal tasks measure different aspects of temporal processing. The contribution to performance of higher-level perceptual and attentional components of the temporal sequencing task accounts for the relatively weak correlation found between the two measures. While sensory sensitivity to motion is measured at MT, the involvement of this area and PPC in higher-level perceptual and attentional processes is suggested by the findings of this study. Second, the association between temporal sequencing and reading skills may provide a stronger link between neural processing and poor reading skills than basic sensory processing measures alone, suggesting that a sensory magnocellular (M) system deficit cannot fully explain the relationship found between reading and visual neural processing. Third, problems with rapid sequential processing are predicted to be a generalised problem in poor adult readers, whether they are formally classified as dyslexic, or are poor performers on measures of word identification. Temporal processing may follow a distribution similar to that found for word identification skills.