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Neural responses to natural and enhanced speech edges in children with and without dyslexia

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Flanagan, Sheila 
Macfarlane, Annabel 
Feltham, Georgia 
Gabrielczyk, Fiona 


jats:pSensory-neural studies indicate that children with developmental dyslexia show impairments in processing acoustic speech envelope information. Prior studies suggest that this arises in part from reduced sensory sensitivity to amplitude rise times (ARTs or speech “edges”) in the envelope, accompanied by less accurate neural encoding of low-frequency envelope information. Accordingly, enhancing these characteristics of the speech envelope may enhance neural speech processing in children with dyslexia. Here we applied an envelope modulation enhancement (EME) algorithm to a 10-min story read in child-directed speech (CDS), enhancing ARTs and also enhancing low-frequency envelope information. We compared neural speech processing (as measured using MEG) for the EME story with the same story read in natural CDS for 9-year-old children with and without dyslexia. The EME story affected neural processing in the power domain for children with dyslexia, particularly in the delta band (0.5–4 Hz) in the superior temporal gyrus. This may suggest that prolonged experience with EME speech could ameliorate some of the impairments shown in natural speech processing by children with dyslexia.</jats:p>



5204 Cognitive and Computational Psychology, 52 Psychology, Clinical Research, Pediatric

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Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

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Frontiers Media SA