• Researchers from the University of Oviedo search for the origin of dyslexia in children and adults with reading disabilities

    April 15, 2013

    The group of Research in Cognitive Neurosciences conducts a research on more than one hundred patients to find guidelines that allow for an early diagnostic and that help designing more efficient treatments

    The team of Professors Fernando Cuetos y Paz Suárez Coalla

    For almost a decade, the group of Research in Cognitive Neurosciences of the University of Oviedo has been working on the key elements of dyslexia, a disability that affects the learning of writing and reading. A new study, in which more than one hundred Asturian patients (both children and adults) participate, aims at designing guidelines that allow for more efficient treatments.

    The research is led by Tenured Professor Fernando Cueto Vega of Psychology, while Professor Paz Suárez Coalla, a speciliast in Speech-Language Therapy, also contributes to it with her work. The study aims at determining, through behavioral, electrophysiological and neuroimage tests, the causes of the reading disabilities of these patients.

    Cutting-edge techniques are applied in the study of these patients. Throughout the next few months, the research team will start using a cap of evoked potentials: a kind of helmet that has been equipped with 64 sensors that allow researchers to study the activity of the brain that is generated when the patient is developing a specific task (reading, writing, etc.)

    The team collaborates with other research centers by applying neuroimage techniques that may help to explain the problems that may exist in the brain of the patient

    Since last Fall, the scientists of the University of Oviedo have expanded their research to adults who now see that they had the same symptoms when they were young and who are the parents of children who have been diagnosed with this disability.

    After having conducted several tests that confirm the diagnostic of dyslexia, the patients who collaborate with the study take several other tests in a laboratory. Theses tasks are designed to try to decypher the reasons why these people have particular issues in associating the specific written forms with their corresponding phonemes. These problems at the grapheme-phoneme level greatly hamper the comprehension that the child or the adult has of what they are reading.

    Experts estimate that around a 3% of the population suffers from learning disabilities. The dyslexia may be the cause of a low performance in children, or even cause them to fail at their academic formation.

    This group of the University of Oviedo collaborates since last year with the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL) of Saint Sebastian to apply techniques of neuroimage that help explaining the problems that may exist in the level of the brain.