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New Theory for Root of Dyslexia


New research suggests that there may be more than one cause of dyslexia - and it is culture-based.

Scientists from the US National Institute of Mental Health have found that Chinese children have similar reading difficulties to those in other cultures, but the dyslexia can be traced to different parts of the brain than in Westerners.

The research published in the journal Nature suggests that the cause of dyslexia varies in different cultures.

Previosuly, many researchers felt that the biological root of dyslexia lay in an area of the brain called the left temporoparietal region.

However most studies of the condition have focused on letter-based, alphabetic languages such as English, while this new study concentrated on Chinese children whose language is based on symbols.

The researchers used MRI scans to study the brain activity of 16 Chinese dyslexic children as they performed various language-based tasks.

Their study suggests that for these children, the problem lies in another area of the brain - the left middle frontal gyrus - which they believe is because reading Chinese is a different mental task to reading an alphabetic language.

Their findings suggest that tasks to stimulate different areas of the brain are needed to treat people with dyslexia in different cultures and offer a possible explanation as to why it is possible to be dyslexic in one language but not another.


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