, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 229-238

Performance of disabled and normal readers on the continuous performance test

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Twelve-year-old reading-disabled children of normal intelligence were compared on the Continuous Performance Test with two control groups of normal intelligence and reading ability either of the same age or of the same reading age as the reading-disabled group. Signal-detection analysis showed that the reading-disabled were more conservative than chronological-age controls in their willingness to identify the target letter sequence. Although this conservative performance was shared by the reading-age controls, the readingdisabled suffered an additional handicap of relatively frequent anticipatory errors. Groups also differed on a sensitivity measure, suggesting a deficit in working memory in the reading-disabled children.

This research was supported by the New Zealand Neurological Foundation. We thank the children and school staff for their willing cooperation. We are indebted to the research students who found the subjects and helped collect the data.