Children with dyslexia: Evidence for visual attention deficits in perception of rapid sequences of objects

Troy A.W. Visser, Catherine Boden, Deborah E. Giaschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


The attentional blink (AB) refers to a decrease in accuracy that occurs when observers are required to identify, detect or classify the second of two rapidly-sequential targets. The AB is typically attributed to an inability to rapidly reallocate attentional resources from the first to the second target. Thus, it provides an ideal tool to investigate how visual attention is rapidly allocated to sequences of stimuli such as occurs when reading. In the present work, we compared the magnitude of the AB in children with developmental dyslexia to reading-matched and age-matched control groups. In Experiment 1, when two targets were presented in the same spatial location, the AB deficit was similar in the reading-matched and dyslexic groups, but greater in the dyslexic group than in age-matched controls. In Experiment 2, when targets were presented in different spatial locations, performance in the dyslexic group was worse than the age-matched controls and marginally worse than the reading-matched controls. Taken together, the results argue for developmental delays in the ability of children with dyslexia to allocate attention to rapidly-sequential stimuli, as well as some evidence for difficulties that are unique to this group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2521-2535
Number of pages15
JournalVision Research
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


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