On the relationship between dynamic visual and auditory processing and literacy skills; results from a large primary-school study.
Talcott JB., Witton C., Hebb GS., Stoodley CJ., Westwood EA., France SJ., Hansen PC., Stein JF.
Three hundred and fifty randomly selected primary school children completed a psychometric and psychophysical test battery to ascertain relationships between reading ability and sensitivity to dynamic visual and auditory stimuli. The first analysis examined whether sensitivity to visual coherent motion and auditory frequency resolution differed between groups of children with different literacy and cognitive skills. For both tasks, a main effect of literacy group was found in the absence of a main effect for intelligence or an interaction between these factors. To assess the potential confounding effects of attention, a second analysis of the frequency discrimination data was conducted with performance on catch trials entered as a covariate. Significant effects for both the covariate and literacy skill was found, but again there was no main effect of intelligence, nor was there an interaction between intelligence and literacy skill. Regression analyses were conducted to determine the magnitude of the relationship between sensory and literacy skills in the entire sample. Both visual motion sensitivity and auditory sensitivity to frequency differences were robust predictors of children's literacy skills and their orthographic and phonological skills.