Visual motion and decision-making in dyslexia: Evidence of reduced accumulation of sensory evidence and related neural dynamics
Manning C., Hassall CD., Laurence TH., Norcia AM., Wagenmakers E-J., Snowling MJ., Scerif G., Evans NJ.
AbstractChildren with and without dyslexia differ in their behavioural responses to visual information, particularly when required to pool dynamic signals over space and time. Importantly, multiple processes contribute to behavioural responses. Here we investigated which processing stages are affected in children with dyslexia when performing visual motion processing tasks, by combining two methods that are sensitive to the dynamic processes leading to responses. We used a diffusion model which decomposes response time and accuracy into distinct cognitive constructs, and high-density EEG. 50 children with dyslexia and 50 typically developing children aged 6 to 14 years judged the direction of motion as quickly and accurately as possible in two global motion tasks, which varied in their requirements for segregating signal-from-noise. Following our pre-registered analyses, we fitted hierarchical Bayesian diffusion models to the data, blinded to group membership. Unblinding revealed reduced evidence accumulation in children with dyslexia compared to typical children for both tasks. We also identified a response-locked EEG component which was maximal over centro-parietal electrodes which indicated a neural correlate of reduced drift-rate in dyslexia, thereby linking brain and behaviour. We suggest that children with dyslexia are slower to extract sensory evidence from global motion displays, regardless of whether they are required to segregate signal-from-noise, thus furthering our understanding of atypical perceptual decision-making processes in dyslexia.