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The ability to process temporal and spatial visual stimuli was studied to investigate the role these functions play in the reading process. Previous studies of this type have often been confounded by memory involvement, or did not take into account the evidence which suggests a visual transient deficient in some dyslexics. Normal (n = 39), reading disabled (n = 26), and backward reading children (n=12) were compared on a visual computer game, which consisted of a temporal and a analogous spatial dot counting task. Reading disabled children performed significantly worse than normal children on the Temporal Dot Task, but were only mildly impaired on the Spatial Dot Task, Backward readers were not significantly better than the reading disabled group on either task, suggesting that poor poor visual temporal processing is not specific to dyslexia. In a group of 93 children, a regression model including age, verbal IQ, phonological awareness, and visual temporal processing ability, predicted 73% of the variance of reading ability. The results suggest that dyslexics perform worse in tasks that require fast, sequential processing and that this impairment may be partially responsible for their reading difficulties.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





451 - 468


Attention, Cerebral Cortex, Child, Dyslexia, Female, Humans, Male, Mental Recall, Orientation, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Phonetics, Psychomotor Performance, Reaction Time, Time Perception