Poster Session C, Sunday, March 24, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
‘Print tuning’ as neurophysiological marker of early typical and delayed reading acquisition.
Ben Maassen1,2, Toivo Glatz3; 1University of Groningen, The Netherlands, 2University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands, 3Catholic University Leuven, Belgium
The visual N170 is an occipitotemporal electrophysiological ERP-component which provides a measure for print tuning – the cortical specialization to processing of written text. Print tuning emerges in beginning readers during the first two years of reading education and is left-lateralized in advanced readers. In earlier studies with adults and adolescents we found the N170 component to be more pronounced in typical readers as compared to individuals with reading disability. We present two ERP studies which further explore the emergence of print tuning during the early stage of typical and delayed reading acquisition. In study 1 print tuning as measured from 21 typical and poor readers of Dutch in second grade of mainstream primary education, exhibited a robust, enhanced N170 response for words compared to symbols in the left hemisphere, and a positive, almost linear relation between reading fluency and the size of the print tuning effect. In study 2 the effect of a seven weeks computer-based literacy training was evaluated in a cross sectional sample of 36 first graders with behavioral tests and the visual print-tuning N170 paradigm. Conventional analyses of averaged ERPs pointed to an overall presence of left-lateralized print tuning, that was larger at the second than the first assessment. Single trial analyses showed evidence of print tuning in the more proficient readers, but returned null results for the experimental factors session and type of training (math versus literacy). Thus, further studies are needed to understand the precise relation between print tuning and reading development or delay.
Topic Area: METHODS: Electrophysiology