Effetto crowding e dislessia evolutiva: un confronto inter e intra-linguistico

Bellocchi, Stéphanie (2008) Effetto crowding e dislessia evolutiva: un confronto inter e intra-linguistico, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Psicologia generale e clinica, 20 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/1011.
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Crowding is defined as the negative effect obtained by adding visual distractors around a central target which has to be identified. Some studies have suggested the presence of a marked crowding effect in developmental dyslexia (e.g. Atkinson, 1991; Spinelli et al., 2002). Inspired by Spinelli’s (2002) experimental design, we explored the hypothesis that the crowding effect may affect dyslexics’ response times (RTs) and accuracy in identification tasks dealing with words, pseudowords, illegal non-words and symbolstrings. Moreover, our study aimed to clarify the relationship between the crowding phenomenon and the word-reading process, in an inter-language comparison perspective. For this purpose we studied twenty-two French dyslexics and twenty-two Italian dyslexics (total forty-four dyslexics), compared to forty-four subjects matched for reading level (22 French and 22 Italians) and forty-four chronological age-matched subjects (22 French and 22 Italians). Children were all tested on reading and cognitive abilities. Results showed no differences between French and Italian participants suggesting that performances were homogenous. Dyslexic children were all significantly impaired in words and pseudowords reading compared to their normal reading controls. Regarding the identification task with which we assessed crowding effect, both accuracy and RTs showed a lexicality effect which meant that the recognition of words was more accurate and faster in words than pseudowords, non-words and symbolstrings. Moreover, compared to normal readers, dyslexics’ RTs and accuracy were impaired only for verbal materials but not for non-verbal material; these results are in line with the phonological hypothesis (Griffiths & Snowling, 2002; Snowling, 2000; 2006) . RTs revealed a general crowding effect (RTs in the crowding condition were slower than those recorded in the isolated condition) affecting all the subjects’ performances. This effect, however, emerged to be not specific for dyslexics. Data didn’t reveal a significant effect of language, allowing the generalization of the obtained results. We also analyzed the performance of two subgroups of dyslexics, categorized according to their reading abilities. The two subgroups produced different results regarding the crowding effect and type of material, suggesting that it is meaningful to take into account also the heterogeneity of the dyslexia disorder. Finally, we also analyzed the relationship of the identification task with both reading and cognitive abilities. In conclusion, this study points out the importance of comparing visual tasks performances of dyslexic participants with those of their reading level-matched controls. This approach may improve our comprehension of the potential causal link between crowding and reading (Goswami, 2003).

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Bellocchi, Stéphanie
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
crowding dislessia evolutiva
Data di discussione
28 Aprile 2008

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