This study identifies a new type of temporal perception deficit in children with dyslexia; speaking rate perception.
There is considerable evidence suggesting auditory processing deficits may be a major contributor to dyslexia. Impaired perception of subtle components of speech sounds (phonemes) impairs phonological awareness which is thought to be a key underlying cause of dyslexia. Various temporal (timing) perception deficits in particular have been shown to be associated with dyslexia. These deficits are also common in children with APD. This study identifies a new type of temporal perception deficit in children with dyslexia; speaking rate perception. Appreciating speaking rate assists us to categorise the relative length of sounds. Some speech sounds, usually vowels, will be longer in a slow speaker than a fast speaker. Our brain normally allows for this in determining whether a speech sound is relatively short or long. This study shows that children with dyslexia are less able to compensate for speaking rate when trying to understand spoken speech. The authors conclude:
“Individuals with developmental dyslexia (DD) are impaired not only in tasks involving direct temporal processing, as shown in previous studies but also in the use of temporal information of a context that impacts the perception of subsequent target words. This inability to fully utilize rate normalization processes may influence the formation of abstract phonological representations in individuals with DD.”
Gabay, Y., Najjar, I. J., & Reinisch, E. (2019). Another Temporal Processing Deficit in Individuals With Developmental Dyslexia: The Case of Normalization for Speaking Rate. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 62(7), 2171-2184.