Reading may seem like a visual skill, but according to new research on dyslexia, children who excel at reading tend to be all ears.Their brains process the sounds of speech in a more consistent way than those who struggle to read, scientists at Northwestern University in Chicago have found.
In a study published in February in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers recorded the brainwaves of 100 children with normal hearing, aged six to 13. Using scalp electrodes, they measured the children’s neural responses as they listened to the syllables “ba” and “ga.”
The brainwaves of dyslexic children showed erratic patterns, indicating the children had difficulty encoding the sounds, said the study’s co-author, Nina Kraus, a professor of neurobiology, physiology and communication at Northwestern University.
This deficit in the brain’s ability to recall speech sounds “may be a biological marker of dyslexia,” she said.