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(Con)text-specific effects of visual dysfunction on reading in posterior cortical atrophy.

Yong, KX; Shakespeare, TJ; Cash, D; Henley, SM; Warren, JD; Crutch, SJ; (2014) (Con)text-specific effects of visual dysfunction on reading in posterior cortical atrophy. Cortex , 57 92 - 106. 10.1016/j.cortex.2014.03.010. Green open access


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Reading deficits are a common early feature of the degenerative syndrome posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) but are poorly understood even at the single word level. The current study evaluated the reading accuracy and speed of 26 PCA patients, 17 typical Alzheimer's disease (tAD) patients and 14 healthy controls on a corpus of 192 single words in which the following perceptual properties were manipulated systematically: inter-letter spacing, font size, length, font type, case and confusability. PCA reading was significantly less accurate and slower than tAD patients and controls, with performance significantly adversely affected by increased letter spacing, size, length and font (cursive < non-cursive), and characterised by visual errors (69% of all error responses). By contrast, tAD and control accuracy rates were at or near ceiling, letter spacing was the only perceptual factor to influence reading speed in the same direction as controls, and, in contrast to PCA patients, control reading was faster for larger font sizes. The inverse size effect in PCA (less accurate reading of large than small font size print) was associated with lower grey matter volume in the right superior parietal lobule. Reading accuracy was associated with impairments of early visual (especially crowding), visuoperceptual and visuospatial processes. However, these deficits were not causally related to a universal impairment of reading as some patients showed preserved reading for small, unspaced words despite grave visual deficits. Rather, the impact of specific types of visual dysfunction on reading was found to be (con)text specific, being particularly evident for large, spaced, lengthy words. These findings improve the characterisation of dyslexia in PCA, shed light on the causative and associative factors, and provide clear direction for the development of reading aids and strategies to maximise and sustain reading ability in the early stages of disease.

Type: Article
Title: (Con)text-specific effects of visual dysfunction on reading in posterior cortical atrophy.
Location: Italy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2014.03.010
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2014.03.010
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution License.
Keywords: Acquired dyslexia, Alzheimer's disease (AD), Crowding, Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA)
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1431232
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