Dyslexia is heritable and associated with auditory processing deficits. We investigate whether temporal auditory processing is compromised in young children at-risk for dyslexia and whether it is associated with later language and reading skills. We recorded EEG from 17 months-old children with or without familial risk for dyslexia to investigate whether their auditory system was able to detect a temporal change in a tone pattern. The children were followed longitudinally and performed an intelligence- and language development test at ages 4 and 4.5 years. Literacy related skills were measured at the beginning of second grade, and word- and pseudo-word reading fluency were measured at the end of second grade. The EEG responses showed that control children could detect the temporal change as indicated by a mismatch response (MMR). The MMR was not observed in at-risk children. Furthermore, the fronto-central MMR amplitude correlated with preliterate language comprehension and with later word reading fluency, but not with phonological awareness. We conclude that temporal auditory processing differentiates young children at risk for dyslexia from controls and is a precursor of preliterate language comprehension and reading fluency. ?? 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
- Event-related brain potentials (ERPs)
- Reading fluency
- Temporal auditory processing