Cognitive profiles of adult developmental dyslexics: theoretical implications

AA Reid, M Szczerbinski, E Iskierka-Kasperek, Peter Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to establish cognitive profiles of dyslexic adults on tests developed within the three main theories of developmental dyslexia: phonological, visual magnocellular and cerebellar and to investigate which theory can account for these profiles. The sample consisted of 15 Polish university students or alumni with a formal diagnosis of dyslexia, without ADHD and 15 controls matched on education, age, gender, IQ and handedness. The results revealed a striking heterogeneity of profiles. Nine dyslexics exhibited only a phonological deficit; one a phonological and a visual magnocellular deficit; a further three a phonological and a cerebellar deficit; two either a cerebellar or a visual magnocellular deficit. None of the three main theories of dyslexia can account for all the cases studied here. It is suggested that the best account of these data is in terms of different sub-types of dyslexia with different underlying causes, such as phonological, visual magnocellular and cerebellar, or a combination of these. However, an account in terms of Ramus' (Trends, Neurosci. 2004; 27(12): 720-726) model, according to which the phonological deficit is a core deficit in dyslexia and other deficits (magnocellular and cerebellar), are just co-morbid markers without a causal relationship to dyslexics' literacy difficulties, cannot currently be ruled out.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
Issue number1
Early online date1 Jan 2007
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2007


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