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Diminished brain responses to second-language words are linked with native-language literacy skills in dyslexia

Ylinen, S; Junttila, K; Laasonen, M; Iverson, P; Ahonen, L; Kujala, T; (2019) Diminished brain responses to second-language words are linked with native-language literacy skills in dyslexia. Neuropsychologia , 122 pp. 105-115. 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.11.005. Green open access

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Abstract

Dyslexia is characterized by poor reading skills, yet often also difficulties in second-language learning. The differences between native- and second-language speech processing and the establishment of new brain representations for spoken second language in dyslexia are not, however, well understood. We used recordings of the mismatch negativity component of event-related potential to determine possible differences between the activation of long-term memory representations for spoken native- and second-language word forms in Finnish-speaking 9–11-year-old children with or without dyslexia, studying English as their second language in school. In addition, we sought to investigate whether the bottleneck of dyslexic readers' second-language learning lies at the level of word representations or smaller units and whether the amplitude of mismatch negativity is correlated with native-language literacy and related skills. We found that the activation of brain representations for familiar second-language words, but not for second-language speech sounds or native-language words, was weaker in children with dyslexia than in typical readers. Source localization revealed that dyslexia was associated with weak activation of the right temporal cortex, which has been previously linked with word-form learning. Importantly, the amplitude of the mismatch negativity for familiar second-language words correlated with native-language literacy and rapid naming scores, suggesting a close link between second-language processing and these skills.

Type: Article
Title: Diminished brain responses to second-language words are linked with native-language literacy skills in dyslexia
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.11.005
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.11...
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Dyslexia, Reading skills, Speech, Language learning, Second language, Mismatch negativity
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10063525
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