Visual-spatial selective attention and reading ability in children : a study using event-related potentials and behavioral measures

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Maria Lourdes Anllo-Vento (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Robert G. Eason

Abstract: Reading-disabled subjects have shown a pattern of visual-perceptual processing which is consistent with a deficit in the pathway that encodes transient visual information. Given that this processing stream appears to mediate spatial information, it was hypothesized that children with poor reading skills would also be relatively deficient in attentional spatial-cueing tasks. Here, the paradigm included two successive stimuli: a central cue and a peripheral target. The cue was either directional (a right or left arrow), or neutral (a circle). The target, a white square, appeared 600 ms later and was randomly flashed 8 degrees in the periphery of the right or left hemifield. Subjects were instructed to respond with their right index finger every time the target was validly cued by the preceding cue. Invalidly and neutrally cued trials did not require a response. Eighteen children, 9.75 years-old on average, volunteered to participate in the study. The subjects were a subset of a sample of 83 children which were selected in kindergarten as being at risk of developing a reading disability. At the time of testing, all subjects were attending the 4th grade. The group in this study had average general intelligence and reading ability. Subjects were assigned to a high or a low reading level by means of a median split of their 3rd-grade Woodcock-Johnson Reading Cluster scores.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1991
Visual perception in children
Space perception in children

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