Apart from their reading difficulties, dyslexic subjects often suffer from a variety of subtle sensory and motor deficits.Whether these deficits have a causal relationship to the reading disorder, form additional risk factors, or are totally independent of the reading problem, is under vivid debate. In this article, we review the evidence and suggest that ‘sluggish attentional shifting’ (SAS) can account for the impaired processing of rapid stimulus sequences in dyslexia. Within this novel framework attention-related prolongation of input chunks is decisive for many small deficits found in dyslexic subjects.For years now I've been hoping to find time to dig into the literature on dyslexia.
Impaired processing of rapid stimulus sequences in dyslexia
Riitta Hari and Hanna Renvall
TRENDS in Cognitive Sciences Vol.5 No.12 December 2001
One of these days.
Hari & Renvall open with an arresting observation by Scott Adams:
‘It might seem impossible for you to convey that time doesn’t always march in one direction, bringing with it a perfectly ordered sequence of causes and effects, but it is not hard for me to imagine it, because I’m dyslexic. When I hear a phone number spoken quickly, I hear all the numbers but don’t have any impression in what order they were spoken. It’s as if they came in all at once.’The authors remark that:
Scott Adams in The Dilbert Future (2000), Boxtree, p. 233.
This description from the famous cartoonist fits nicely with findings on dyslexic adults who seem to have a prolonged ‘cognitive window’ (or ‘time or input chunk’1) within which the temporal order of successive items is easily confused 2–4.