Examining the visual attention span deficit hypothesis in Chinese developmental dyslexia

  • Nga Ting Chen
  • Mo Zheng
  • Connie Suk-Han HoEmail author


The present study examines the visual attention span deficit hypothesis in Chinese developmental dyslexia. Twenty-five Cantonese-speaking Chinese dyslexic children (DD group) were compared with 25 chronological-age-matched (CA) controls and another 25 reading-level-matched (RL) controls on their performance in visual attention span, reading, and reading-related cognitive tasks. Results of analysis of variance showed that the DD group performed significantly worse than the CA group in most measures and less well than the RL group in the visual attention span character task. 68 and 52% of the dyslexic participants showed deficits in at least one visual attention span measure when compared with the CA group and the RL group respectively. Results of multiple regression analysis also showed that the composite score of visual attention span significantly predicted Chinese word reading accuracy, word and text reading fluency even after controlling for age, IQ, orthographic skills, and rapid naming. The present findings suggest that visual attention span deficit may be associated with developmental dyslexia in Chinese. The role of visual attention span for word and text reading in Chinese is above and beyond several known reading-related skills.


Visual attention span Developmental dyslexia Chinese Cognitive deficit 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe University of Hong KongPok Fu LamHong Kong

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