Neurobiology of dyslexia : A reinterpretation of the data

Ramus, Franck (2004) Neurobiology of dyslexia : A reinterpretation of the data. [Journal (Paginated)]

Full text available as:



Theories of developmental dyslexia differ on how to best interpret the great variety of symptoms (linguistic, sensory, motor) observed in dyslexic individuals. One approach views dyslexia as a specific phonological deficit, which sometimes co-occurs with a more general sensorimotor syndrome. The present review of the neurobiology of dyslexia shows that neurobiological data are indeed consistent with this view, explaining both how a specific phonological deficit might arise, and why a sensorimotor syndrome should be significantly associated with it. This new conceptualisation of the aetiology of dyslexia may generalise to other neuro-developmental disorders, and may further explain heterogeneity within each disorder and co-morbidity between disorders.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Additional Information:Use alternative location for final pdf.
Keywords:dyslexia, specific language impairment, sensory deficits, motor impairment, magnocellular dysfunction, ectopias
Subjects:Neuroscience > Neuropsychology
Psychology > Developmental Psychology
Neuroscience > Neuroanatomy
ID Code:4524
Deposited By:Ramus, Dr Franck
Deposited On:01 Sep 2005
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:56

References in Article

Select the SEEK icon to attempt to find the referenced article. If it does not appear to be in cogprints you will be forwarded to the paracite service. Poorly formated references will probably not work.

1 Stein, J.F. and Walsh, V. (1997) To see but not to read; the magnocellular theory of dyslexia. Trends Neurosci. 20 (4), 147-152

2 Ramus, F. (2003) Developmental dyslexia: specific phonological deficit or general sensorimotor dysfunction? Current Opinion in Neurobiology 13 (2), 212-218

3 Kadesjö, B. and Gillberg, C. (2001) The comorbidity of ADHD in the general population of Swedish school-age children. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 42 (4), 487-492

4 McArthur, G.M. et al. (2000) On the "specifics" of specific reading disability and specific language impairment. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 41 (7), 869-874

5 Snowling, M.J. (2000) Dyslexia, Blackwell

6 Tallal, P. (1980) Auditory temporal perception, phonics, and reading disabilities in children. Brain and Language 9 (2), 182-198

7 Farmer, M.E. and Klein, R.M. (1995) The evidence for a temporal processing deficit linked to dyslexia: A review. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 2 (4), 460-493

8 Lovegrove, W.J. et al. (1980) Specific reading disability: differences in contrast sensitivity as a function of spatial frequency. Science 210 (4468), 439-440

9 Livingstone, M.S. et al. (1991) Physiological and anatomical evidence for a magnocellular defect in developmental dyslexia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 88, 7943-7947

10 Nicolson, R.I. and Fawcett, A.J. (1990) Automaticity: a new framework for dyslexia research? Cognition 35 (2), 159-182

11 Nicolson, R.I. et al. (2001) Dyslexia, development and the cerebellum. Trends Neurosci 24 (9), 515-516

12 Ramus, F. et al. (2003) Theories of developmental dyslexia: Insights from a multiple case study of dyslexic adults. Brain 126 (4), 841-865

13 Rosen, S. (2003) Auditory processing in dyslexia and specific language impairment: Is there a deficit? What is its nature? Does it explain anything? Journal of Phonetics 31, 509-527

14 Habib, M. (2000) The neurological basis of developmental dyslexia: An overview and working hypothesis. Brain 123, 2373-2399

15 Eckert, M. (2004) Neuroanatomical markers for dyslexia: a review of dyslexia structural imaging studies. Neuroscientist 10 (4), 362-371

16 Galaburda, A.M. and Kemper, T.L. (1979) Cytoarchitectonic abnormalities in developmental dyslexia: a case study. Ann Neurol 6 (2), 94-100.

17 Galaburda, A.M. et al. (1985) Developmental dyslexia: four consecutive patients with cortical anomalies. Ann Neurol 18 (2), 222-233.

18 Humphreys, P. et al. (1990) Developmental dyslexia in women: neuropathological findings in three patients. Ann Neurol 28 (6), 727-738.

19 Kaufmann, W.E. and Galaburda, A.M. (1989) Cerebrocortical microdysgenesis in neurologically normal subjects: a histopathologic study. Neurology 39 (2 Pt 1), 238-244

20 Galaburda, A.M. et al. (1994) Evidence for aberrant auditory anatomy in developmental dyslexia. Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.U.S.A 91 (17), 8010-8013

21 Galaburda, A.M. (1999) Developmental dyslexia: A multilevel syndrome. Dyslexia 5 (4), 183-191

22 Herman, A.E. et al. (1997) Cerebral microgyria, thalamic cell size and auditory temporal processing in male and female rats. Cereb Cortex 7 (5), 453-464.

23 Peiffer, A.M. et al. (2002) Rapid auditory processing and MGN morphology in microgyric rats reared in varied acoustic environments. Brain Res Dev Brain Res 138 (2), 187-193

24 Fitch, R.H. et al. (1994) Induced microgyria and auditory temporal processing in rats: a model for language impairment? Cereb Cortex 4 (3), 260-270.

25 Peiffer, A.M. et al. (2001) Impaired detection of variable duration embedded tones in ectopic NZB/BINJ mice. Neuroreport 12 (13), 2875-2879

26 Fitch, R.H. et al. (1997) Effects of sex and MK-801 on auditory-processing deficits associated with developmental microgyric lesions in rats. Behav Neurosci 111 (2), 404-412.

27 Peiffer, A.M. et al. (2002) Sex differences in rapid auditory processing deficits in ectopic BXSB/MpJ mice. Neuroreport 13 (17), 2277-2280

28 Rosen, G.D. et al. (1999) Sex differences in the effects of early neocortical injury on neuronal size distribution of the medial geniculate nucleus in the rat are mediated by perinatal gonadal steroids. Cereb Cortex 9 (1), 27-34.

29 Denenberg, V.H. et al. (1991) Spatial learning, discrimination learning, paw preference and neocortical ectopias in two autoimmune strains of mice. Brain Res 562 (1), 98-104

30 Schrott, L.M. et al. (1992) Environmental enrichment, neocortical ectopias, and behavior in the autoimmune NZB mouse. Brain Res Dev Brain Res 67 (1), 85-93

31 Balogh, S.A. et al. (1998) Effects of neocortical ectopias upon the acquisition and retention of a non-spatial reference memory task in BXSB mice. Brain Res Dev Brain Res 111 (2), 291-293

32 Rosen, G.D. et al. (1995) Behavioral consequences of neonatal injury of the neocortex. Brain Res 681 (1-2), 177-189

33 Boehm, G.W. et al. (1996) Neocortical ectopias in BXSB mice: effects upon reference and working memory systems. Cereb Cortex 6 (5), 696-700

34 Waters, N.S. et al. (1997) Effects of cortical ectopias on spatial delayed-matching-to-sample performance in BXSB mice. Behav Brain Res 84 (1-2), 23-29

35 Hyde, L.A. et al. (2000) Working memory deficits in BXSB mice with neocortical ectopias. Physiol Behav 70 (1-2), 1-5

36 Hyde, L.A. et al. (2001) Effects of ectopias and their cortical location on several measures of learning in BXSB mice. Dev Psychobiol 39 (4), 286-300

37 Hyde, L.A. et al. (2002) Spatial and nonspatial Morris maze learning: impaired behavioral flexibility in mice with ectopias located in the prefrontal cortex. Behav Brain Res 133 (2), 247-259

38 Wang, Y. et al. (submitted) Neuronal migration and the dyslexia susceptibility gene Dyx1c1.

39 Skottun, B.C. (1997) The magnocellular deficit theory of dyslexia. Trends Neurosci 20 (9), 397-398

40 Turkeltaub, P.E. et al. (2003) Development of neural mechanisms for reading. Nat Neurosci 6 (7), 767-773.

41 Wolf, M. et al. (2002) The second deficit: An investigation of the independence of phonological and naming-speed deficits in developmental dyslexia. Reading and Writing 15 (1-2), 43-72

42 McArthur, G.M. and Bishop, D.V.M. (2001) Auditory perceptual processing in people with reading and oral language impairments: Current issues and recommendations. Dyslexia 7, 150-170

43 Hill, E.L. (2001) Non-specific nature of specific language impairment: a review of the literature with regard to concomitant motor impairments. Int J Lang Commun Disord 36 (2), 149-171.

44 Milne, E. et al. (2002) High motion coherence thresholds in children with autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 43 (2), 255-263

45 O'Brien, J. et al. (2002) Form and motion coherence processing in dyspraxia: evidence of a global spatial processing deficit. Neuroreport 13 (11), 1399-1402.

46 Duchaine, B.C. (2000) Developmental prosopagnosia with normal configural processing. Neuroreport 11 (1), 79-83

47 Bailey, A. et al. (1998) A clinicopathological study of autism. Brain 121 (Pt 5), 889-905

48 Castellanos, F.X. et al. (2002) Developmental trajectories of brain volume abnormalities in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of the American Medical Association 288 (14), 1740-1748

49 Manning, J.T. et al. (1998) The ratio of 2nd to 4th digit length: a predictor of sperm numbers and concentrations of testosterone, luteinizing hormone and oestrogen. Hum Reprod 13 (11), 3000-3004.

50 Manning, J.T. et al. (2001) The 2nd to 4th digit ratio and autism. Dev Med Child Neurol 43 (3), 160-164.

51 Milne, E. et al. (in press) Motion and form coherence detection in autistic spectrum disorder: Relationship to motor control and 2:4 digit ratio. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

52 Sherman, G.F. et al. (1990) Brain abnormalities in immune defective mice. Brain Res 532 (1-2), 25-33.

53 Sherman, G.F. et al. (1994) A genetic analysis of neocortical ectopias in New Zealand black autoimmune mice. Neuroreport 5 (6), 721-724

54 Bishop, D.V. et al. (1999) Different origin of auditory and phonological processing problems in children with language impairment: evidence from a twin study. J Speech Lang Hear Res 42 (1), 155-168

55 Davis, C.J. et al. (2001) Etiology of reading difficulties and rapid naming: the Colorado Twin Study of Reading Disability. Behav Genet 31 (6), 625-635.

56 Olson, R. and Datta, H. (2002) Visual-temporal processing in reading-disabled and normal twins. Reading and Writing 15 (1-2), 127-149

57 Fisher, S.E. et al. (2003) Deciphering the Genetic Basis of Speech and Language Disorders. Annu Rev Neurosci 26, 57-80


Repository Staff Only: item control page