New work led by Dr. Vanessa Harrar in the Crossmodal Research Laboratory reading may be related to an impairment in shifting attention between the senses. As part of the study, volunteers were asked to press a button as quickly as possible whenever they heard a particular sound or saw a pattern flashed up on a computer screen. Volunteers with dyslexia responded more slowly when they had to alternate their attention between sounds and patterns – and especially to the auditory signal if it directly followed the visual signal. Vanessa Harrar, an experimental psychologist and lead author of the study, said that this suggested some new possibilities to help people with dyslexia, including playing video games to train the brain’s attention system: “These video games require you to respond very quickly, to shift attention to one part of the screen to another… It's not just shifting attention from one location to another, but we should also be training shifting attention from sound to visual stimuli and vice versa.
Dyslexia may relate to difficulty shifting attention between the senses
10 March 2014