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Facial speech gestures: The relation between visual speech processing, phonological awareness, and developmental dyslexia in 10-year-olds

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Schaadt,  Gesa
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Department of Psychology, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany;

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Männel,  Claudia
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Friederici,  Angela D.
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Schaadt, G., Männel, C., van der Meer, E., Pannekamp, A., & Friederici, A. D. (2016). Facial speech gestures: The relation between visual speech processing, phonological awareness, and developmental dyslexia in 10-year-olds. Developmental Science, 19(6), 1020-1034. doi:10.1111/desc.12346.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0027-BFE4-B
Abstract
Successful communication in everyday life crucially involves the processing of auditory and visual components of speech. Viewing our interlocutor and processing visual components of speech facilitates speech processing by triggering auditory processing. Auditory phoneme processing, analyzed by event-related brain potentials (ERP), has been shown to be associated with impairments in reading and spelling (i.e. developmental dyslexia), but visual aspects of phoneme processing have not been investigated in individuals with such deficits. The present study analyzed the passive visual Mismatch Response (vMMR) in school children with and without developmental dyslexia in response to video-recorded mouth movements pronouncing syllables silently. Our results reveal that both groups of children showed processing of visual speech stimuli, but with different scalp distribution. Children without developmental dyslexia showed a vMMR with typical posterior distribution. In contrast, children with developmental dyslexia showed a vMMR with anterior distribution, which was even more pronounced in children with severe phonological deficits and very low spelling abilities. As anterior scalp distributions are typically reported for auditory speech processing, the anterior vMMR of children with developmental dyslexia might suggest an attempt to anticipate potentially upcoming auditory speech information in order to support phonological processing, which has been shown to be deficient in children with developmental dyslexia.