Exploring the phonological deficit in developmental dyslexia and specific language impairment



Fyssen Foundation
Rodin Remediation Academy
Agence Nationale de la Recherche
Gayaneh Szenkovits and a number of Master students.
Chloe Marshall & Heather van der Lely
Daniel Pressnitzer, Trevor Agus

Before I started getting intrigued by sensorimotor impairments, my original postdoc project was to further investigate the phonological deficit in developmental dyslexia. Indeed I think that its current characterisation is rather poor:

Ramus, F. (2001). Outstanding questions about phonological processing in dyslexia. Dyslexia, 7, 197-216. reprint

This line of research has initially been developed with Gayaneh Szenkovits during her PhD work, then continued with other students and collaborators :

Szenkovits, G., & Ramus, F. (2005). Exploring dyslexics' phonological deficit I: lexical vs. sub-lexical and input vs. output processes. Dyslexia, 11(4), 253-268. reprint

Ramus, F., & Szenkovits, G. (2008). What phonological deficit? Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61(1), 129-141. reprint

Soroli, E., Szenkovits, G., & Ramus, F. (2010). Exploring dyslexics' phonological deficit III: Foreign speech perception and production. Dyslexia, 16, 318-340. preprint

Ramus, F., & Ahissar, M. (2012). Developmental dyslexia: the difficulties of interpreting poor performance, and the importance of normal performance. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 29(1-2), 104-122.

Agus, T. R., Carrión Castillo, A., Pressnitzer, D., & Ramus, F. (2014). Perceptual learning of acoustic noise by dyslexic individuals. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 57, 1069-1077.

Further thoughts:

Ramus, F. (2014). Neuroimaging sheds new light on the phonological deficit in dyslexia. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18, 274-275.

Ramus, F. (2014). Should there really be a “Dyslexia debate”? Brain, 137, 3371-3374.

My research on phonological processing in dyslexia is paralleled by similar work on children with specific language impairment, in collaboration with Heather van der Lely, Chloe Marshall and Stuart Rosen (UCL) and with funding from the ESRC.

Marshall, C. R., Harcourt-Brown, S., Ramus, F., & van der Lely, H. K. J. (2009). The link between prosody and language skills in children with specific language impairment (SLI) and/or dyslexia. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 44(4), 466-488.preprint

Marshall, C. R., Ramus, F., & van der Lely, H. (2010). Do children with dyslexia and/or specific language impairment compensate for place assimilation? Insight into phonological grammar and representations. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 27(7), 563-586. preprint

Ramus, F., Marshall, C. R., Rosen, S., & van der Lely, H. K. J. (2013). Phonological deficits in specific language impairment and developmental dyslexia: towards a multidimensional model. Brain, 136(2), 630-645. Supplementary data

The Neurodys project also offered a cross-linguistic perspective on the phonological deficit and its links with reading ability:

Landerl, K.*, Ramus, F.*, Moll, K., Lyytinen, H., Leppänen, P. H. T., Lohvansuu, K., . . . Schulte-Körne, G. (2013). Predictors of developmental dyslexia in European orthographies with varying complexity. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54(6), 686-694. *equal contributors

Moll, K., Ramus, F., Bartling, J., Bruder, J., Kunze, S., Neuhoff, N., . . . Landerl, K. (2014). Cognitive mechanisms underlying reading and spelling development in five European orthographies. Learning and Instruction, 29, 65-77.