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  • Author or Editor: Karen Banai x
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The majority of individuals with dyslexia and additional learning difficulties (D-LDs) also perform poorly on many simple auditory discrimination tasks. We now trained a group of D-LD teenagers on a series of auditory tasks and assessed their pattern of auditory improvement as well as their generalization to reading related tasks. We found that the performance of most D-LD participants quickly improved and reached the level of the general age matched population. Moreover, their pattern of learning specificity (e.g. no transfer from frequency to duration discriminations) was also similar to that previously observed in the general population. When assessed with a battery of verbal tasks that they initially performed poorly, a pattern of specific transfer was observed. Performance on verbal memory tasks improved to peer level, whereas performance on reading and non-verbal cognitive tasks did not. These findings suggest that D-LDs’ mechanisms of long-term learning are adequate. Moreover, perceptual learning can be used as a tool for improving general working memory skills, whose underlying mechanisms seem to be shared by simple tones and complex speech sounds.

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