Event-related brain potentials were recorded in two three-stimulus oddball tasks in 13 adult dyslexic and 13 age- and IQ-matched normal readers. The stimuli consisted of a random series of frequent (80%) and non-frequent tones (10%) as well as occasionally inserted novel sounds (10%). The experiment comprised an active (response to the rare target tone) and a passive listening condition. No performance differences were found for dyslexic and normal readers in the active task. In both conditions, novel sounds evoked a centrally distributed P3a-component followed by a P3b-component most prominent at parietal electrodes for target and novel sounds. Additionally, a slow negativity emerged after presentation of novel sounds at frontal electrodes. In the active condition only, peak amplitude of the P3a and the frontal slow negativity to novel stimuli were slightly enlarged for dyslexic readers. These findings indicate a larger distractability of dyslexic readers (enhancement of P3a to novel tones). Furthermore, we propose that dyslexics need to employ more cognitive resources to refocus on the task at hand (as indicated by the enlarged slow frontal negativity).
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)