Investigating the role of temporal processing in developmental dyslexia: Evidence for a specific deficit in rapid visual segmentation

Luca Ronconi, David Melcher, Laura Franchin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study investigates the role of temporal processing in the visual domain in participants with developmental dyslexia (DD), the most common neurodevelopmental disorder, which is characterized by severe and specific difficulties in learning to read despite normal intelligence and adequate education. Specifically, our aim was to test whether DD is associated with a general impairment of temporal sensory processing or a specific deficit in temporal integration (which ensures stability of object identity and location) or segregation (which ensures sensitivity to changes in visual input). Participants with DD performed a task that measured both temporal integration and segregation using an identical sequence of two displays separated by a varying interstimulus interval (ISI) under two different task instructions. Results showed that participants with DD performed worse in the segregation task, with a shallower slope of the psychometric curve of percentage correct as a function of the ISI between the two target displays. Moreover, we found also a relationship between temporal segregation performance and text, words, and pseudowords reading speeds at the individual level. In contrast, no significant association between reading (dis)ability and temporal integration emerged. The current findings provide evidence for a difference in the fine temporal resolution of visual processing in DD and, considering the growing evidence about a link between visual temporal segregation and neural oscillations at specific frequencies, they support the idea that DD is characterized by an altered oscillatory sampling within the visual system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)724-734
Number of pages11
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Magnocellular-dorsal stream
  • Neural oscillations
  • Perception
  • Reading
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Investigating the role of temporal processing in developmental dyslexia: Evidence for a specific deficit in rapid visual segmentation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this