Dyslexic children show deficits in implicit sequence learning, but not in explicit sequence learning or contextual cueing
- 512 Downloads
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling abilities. The absence of other high level cognitive deficits in the dyslexic population has led some authors to propose that non-strategical processes like implicit learning could be impaired in this population. Most studies have addressed this issue by using sequence learning tasks, but so far the results have not been conclusive. We test this hypothesis by comparing the performance of dyslexic children and good readers in both implicit and explicit versions of the sequence learning task, as well as in another implicit learning task not involving sequential information. The results showed that dyslexic children failed to learn the sequence when they were not informed about its presence (implicit condition). In contrast, they learned without significant differences in relation to the good readers group when they were encouraged to discover the sequence and to use it in order to improve their performance (explicit condition). Moreover, we observed that this implicit learning deficit was not extended to other forms of non-sequential, implicit learning such as contextual cueing. In this case, both groups showed similar implicit learning about the information provided by the visual context. These results help to clarify previous contradictory data, and they are discussed in relation to how the implicit sequence learning deficit could contribute to the understanding of dyslexia.
KeywordsAutomatization Dyslexia Intentional learning Reading disabilities Unconscious learning
This research was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology research grant (SEJ2007-68024.CO2.01 and SEJ2007-63645), FEDER Funding, and the Junta de Andalucía research group HUM-820 awarded to fourth author and by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN) and the European Social Fund (ESF) by a “Ramón y Cajal” research position to the second author.
- Berry, D. C., & Dienes, Z. (1993). Implicit learning: Theoretical and empirical issues. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Defior, S., Fonseca, L., Gottheil, B., Aldrey, A., Rosa, G., Pujals, M., et al. (2006). LEE. Test de lectura y escritura en español. Buenos Aires: Paidós.Google Scholar
- Eden, G. F., Stein, J. F., Wood, H. M., & Wood, F. B. (1995). Temporal and spatial processing in reading disabled and normal children. Cortex. Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior, 31(3), 451–468.Google Scholar
- Gombert, J. E. (2003). Implicit and explicit learning to read: Implication as for subtypes of dyslexia. Current Psychology letters: Behaviour, Brain and Cognition, 10(1). Retrieved 30 March 2006 from http://cpl.revues.org/document202.html.
- International Dyslexia Association (IDA). Board of Directors (2002). What is dyslexia? Retrieved 12 November 2003 from http://www.interdys.org/FAQWhatIs.htm.
- Jiménez, L., & Vázquez, G. A. (2010). Implicit sequence learning and contextual cueing do not compete for central cognitive resources. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. doi: 10.1037/a0020378
- Raven, J. (1995). Matrices progresivas de Raven. Escala CPM. Madrid: TEA.Google Scholar
- Reber, A. (1993). Implicit learning and tacit knowledge. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Schneider, W., Eschmann, A., & Zuccolotto, A. (2002). E-Prime user’s guide. Pittsburgh: Psychology Software Tools.Google Scholar
- Soto, P., Sebastián, N., & Maldonado, A. (1992). Retraso en lectura: evaluación y tratamiento educativo. Madrid: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.Google Scholar
- Sprenger-Charolles, L., Colé, P., Lacert, P., & Serniclaes, W. (2000). On subtypes of developmental dyslexia: Evidence from processing time and accuracy scores. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 54, 88–104.Google Scholar
- Sprenger-Charolles, L., & Serniclaes, W. (2003). Reliability of phonological and surface subtypes in developmental dyslexia: A review of five multiple cases studies. Current Psychology Letters, 10(1). Retrieved 30 March 2006 from http://cpl.revues.org/document248.html.