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    Reading ability in children relates to rhythm perception across modalities

    Tierney, Adam and Cardona Gomez, J. and Fedele, O. and Kirkham, Natasha Z. (2021) Reading ability in children relates to rhythm perception across modalities. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 210 (105196), ISSN 0022-0965.

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    The onset of reading ability is rife with individual differences, with some children termed ‘early readers’ and some falling behind from the very beginning. Reading skill in children has been linked to an ability to remember non-verbal rhythms, specifically in the auditory modality. It has been hypothesized that the link between rhythm skills and reading reflects a shared reliance on the ability to extract temporal structure from sound. Here we tested this hypothesis by investigating whether the link between rhythm memory and reading depends upon the modality in which rhythms are presented. We tested 75 primary school-aged children from 7 to 11 years of age on a within-subjects battery of reading and rhythm tasks. Participants received a reading efficiency task followed by three rhythm tasks (auditory, visual, and audiovisual). Results showed that children who performed poorly on the reading task also performed poorly on the tasks that required them to remember and repeat back non-verbal rhythms. In addition, these children showed a rhythmic deficit not just in the auditory domain, but also in the visual domain. However, auditory rhythm memory explained additional variance in reading ability even once visual memory was controlled for. These results suggest that reading ability and rhythm memory rely both on shared modality-general cognitive processes and on the ability to perceive the temporal structure of sound.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): reading, rhythm, auditory, visual
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Adam Tierney
    Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2021 11:35
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:10


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