Findings from a recent research on dyslexia conducted by the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium revealed that the disorder is associated with communication problems in the brain.
According to the study, the connections between the speech centers in the brain and the auditory nerves in dyslexic people are deficient. The discovery is seen as a gateway to the solutions that can help correct the said malady and hopefully put an end to contradictory views about dyslexia. More effective and common methods in dealing with dyslexia are also projected when the medical field shall have arrived at a consensus on its root cause. Dyslexia is a disorder that afflicts some people and leading them to be unable to write, read and spell properly.
Bart Boets, a clinical psychologist, headed the Belgian research group. The research studied a number of brain scans of dyslexic patients, from which the researchers found that the language images or “phonemes” in the patients’ brain remained unimpaired. However dyslexic people could not thoroughly grasp the images because of certain communication inadequacies in the brain.
Boets’ team employed a research technique known as “multivoxel” pattern analysis. This method enabled the researchers to look into the intricate brain patterns that are formed when people communicate. When listening to a series of lingual parts like “ba” and “da”, the research subjects with dyslexia responded differently to the given sounds.
Indicators in the research showed less correlation of dyslexic people’s brains with certain activities, thus deducing that the connection between their communication ability and their speech and auditory functions was weak. Moreover, the researchers found that dyslexic individuals were as accurate as non-dyslexics in accomplishing given tasks. Their brains were likewise as quick as those of people with normal reading and writing skills. However it was seen that dyslexic people responded more slowly because of their communication problem.
Failure to recognize sound units
For a long time, medical practitioners and language therapists had believed dyslexia to be the failure of the brain to recognize sound units. These sound units known as “phonemes” are responsible in word construction and identification. Lately however, this theory is disputed by the new research that claims the problem lies on the inability of the brain to connect and communicate. This indicates that the brain itself cannot actually link up with external variables such as sounds. Consequently, the brain also fails in connecting the sounds of words with the visual aspect, hence the reason for a dyslexic person’s difficulty to write, read and spell.
Intelligence is not a factor
Boets’ research group belies the notion that dyslexics have inferior intelligence. The scientists assert that in reality, dyslexia has an effect on the general learning abilities of a child. On the whole however, dyslexic people with high intelligence and mild dyslexic problem can excel just as well as normal people. Dyslexia is more common in English speaking nations where the sounds of the words do not exactly follow the actual spelling. Words like “dough” and “cough” for instance, are pronounced differently although they both end in “ough.” Dyslexics learn Italian more easily since the way the words are vocalized is very close to the way they are spelled out.