Clinical neurophysiology of visual and auditory processing in dyslexia: a review.
Earlier results from the Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Dyslexia showed that newborn event-related potentials (ERPs) of children with and without familial risk for dyslexia were associated with receptive language and verbal memory skills between 2.5 and 5 years of age. We further examined whether these ERPs (responses to synthetic consonant-vowel syllables /ba/, /da/, /ga/; presented equiprobably with 3,910-7,285 ms interstimulus intervals) predict later pre-reading skills measured before the onset of school (6.5 years of age). In line with our earlier results, the at-risk children (N = 11) with atypical speech processing in the right hemisphere (a slower shift in polarity from positivity to negativity in responses to /ga/ at 540-630 ms) scored significantly lower in phonological skills, rapid naming, and letter knowledge than the control children (N = 10) without enhanced right hemispheric speech processing. These results further extend our earlier findings of newborn ERPs in predicting poorer language skills. These consistent differences in ERPs to speech sounds may have applications in the future for the early identification of children at risk for developmental language problems. This would facilitate well-directed intervention even before reading problems are typically diagnosed.