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Browsing by Author "Asikainen, Sonja"

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  • Asikainen, Sonja (2023)
    Objectives. The most prevailing theory on developmental dyslexia (DD) is the phonological deficit theory, according to which individuals with DD have impairments in neural processing of speech sounds. However, there is evidence that the cause of DD could be related to a fundamental impairment called categorical speech perception (CSP) deficit that is related to the perception of auditory phonemes categories. CSP deficits have been reported in children with or at risk for DD but the results are inconsistent and under debate. Therefore, the present study aimed to determine whether the CSP deficit can be detected in preschoolers at family risk for DD when compared to chronological-age controls and whether the performance on the CSP task predicts age-appropriate pre-reading skills. Methods. The study sample consisted of 49 5-year-old Finnish preschoolers of which 36 had a familial risk for DD and 13 were controls with no such risk. The CSP performance was evaluated with a behavioral speech sound categorization task and pre-reading skills with the LUKIVA scale. The data structure represented a hierarchical nested design, and therefore, the CSP performance was analyzed by using the Linear Mixed-Effects Model, and pre-reading skills by the Generalized Linear Mixed Model. Results and Conclusions. The at-risk children had a poorer performance on the CSP task than the control group; however, the difference was only marginally significant. The performance on the CSP task had no significant relationship with pre-reading skills. Since the difference in CSP performance between the groups was marginal, more research is needed to further validate the relationship between DD and CSP.