Categorical Speech Perception in dyslexic children and adults
Klerk, Maria Kitty Anna de
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The aim of this study was to investigate the categorical speech perception deficit in dyslexic children and adults. In order to do so, an experiment was carried out, in which participants were tested on two categorical perception tasks: a classification (2AFC) and discrimination (AX) task. Four subgroups were tested: 9 dyslexic children, 10 non-dyslexic children, 6 dyslexic adults and 7 non-dyslexic adults. The classification and discrimination results showed no significant difference between the subgroups of children and no significant difference between the subgroups of adults. The results of a comparison of reaction time revealed a significant difference between the subgroups of children, the dyslexic children were significantly slower on both tasks, and revealed a significant difference between the subgroups of adults on the classification task but not the discrimination task. For all groups the degree of categorical perception was high, but it was highest for the two dyslexic groups. The main conclusion is that there is no difference between dyslexics and non-dyslexics in their mechanism of categorical speech perception. The results of this study do not support the hypothesis of a categorical speech perception deficit in dyslexics; therapy should not be focussed on the categorical perception of speech.