Brief Communication abstract

Nature Neuroscience 8, 862 - 863 (2005)
Published online: 29 May 2005 | doi:10.1038/nn1474

Deficits in perceptual noise exclusion in developmental dyslexia

Anne J Sperling1, Zhong-Lin Lu2, Franklin R Manis2 & Mark S Seidenberg3


We evaluated signal-noise discrimination in children with and without dyslexia, using magnocellular and parvocellular visual stimuli presented either with or without high noise. Dyslexic children had elevated contrast thresholds when stimuli of either type were presented in high noise, but performed as well as non-dyslexic children when either type was displayed without noise. Our findings suggest that deficits in noise exclusion, not magnocellular processing, contribute to the etiology of dyslexia.

  1. Georgetown University Medical Center, 4000 Reservoir Road NW, Building D, Room 207E, Washington, DC 20057, USA.
  2. University of Southern California, Seeley G. Mudd Building, Los Angeles, California 90089, USA.
  3. University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1202 West Johnson St., Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.

Correspondence to: Anne J Sperling1 e-mail:


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