International Expert - Colloquium on Dyslexia:
Present State of Research 1997
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, The Auswärtige Amt in Bonn, The
Bundesverband Legasthenie, and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
During the Annual Meeting of the German Association of Dyslexia 1997 in
Greifswald an International Colloquium was organized by Burkhart Fischer
and Monica Biscaldi from the University of Freiburg. The goal was to
present the latest results from the different fields of research and to
arrive at statements on the present state of research on dyslexia.
What is Dyslexia?
- The reading and spelling processes are extremely complex and require
coordination of many brain functions. Problems can arise at one or
more functional levels.
- Developmental dyslexia is a neurobiologically-based deficit in
acquiring reading and spelling skills, relative to the person's
general intellectual abilities.
- Dyslexia is suggested by discrepancy between performance on
intelligence tests and reading/spelling tests. Distinguishing
between pure dyslexia and reading/spelling problems arising without
neurological causes is often difficult.
What causes dyslexia?
- Genetic factors seem to play a role in many cases of dyslexia.
Linkage to chromosomes 6 and 15 have been confirmed and others are
being investigated. At the present time, no genetic diagnostic test
- Dyslexia has been associated with "abnormal" neuroanatomical and
- There is currently evidence for a variety of processing impairments
associated with reading/spelling disability, including phonological
deficits and impairments in temporal and attentional aspects of
visual and auditory processing, and motor control.
- Impaired optomotor control and binocular instability can be
associated with reading/spelling problems.
- Sensory impairments in vision and audition can contribute to the
development of reading/spelling problems.
- Progress is being made in the development of methods for assessing
various aspects of processing related to reading and spelling
Remediation of dyslexia
- Before considering other treatments for reading/spelling problems,
peripheral sensory deficits in vision and audition should be
- Encouraging reading disabled children to read is important, since
the practice of reading increases reading skills. Children with
reading problems often avoid reading, which contributed to slow
skill development. Parental assistance and computer aided reading
can help in encouraging children to read. Severe cases must be
regarded and treated as diseases.
- Since there are different types of impairments underlying reading
disorders, it is necessary to identify the type of remediation for
particular persons. Training in phonological awarness and
phonological coding has been shown to be helpful to many children.
Effectiveness of other types of sensory-motor training, including
their temporal aspects, are being investigated.
- Many methods are proposed for the remediation of dyslexia that have
not been established to be effective using well- controlled studies.
Parents and teachers should be careful in purchasing expensive
equipment or programs on which adequate research has not been
The authors: A. Warnke (Würzburg, Germany); G. Schulte-Körne
(Marburg, Germany); S. Smith (Boulder, USA); H. Wimmer (Salzburg,
Austria); J. Stein (Oxford, England); N. v. Steinbüchel
(München, Germany); M. Biscaldi (Freiburg, Germany); G. McConkie
(University of Illinois, USA); J. Hyöna (Turku, Finland); B.
Fischer (Freiburg, Germany). Assisted by a teacher, I. Weigt (Kiel,
Germany) and a dyslexic mother with two dyslexic children, U. Jung
Contributions to the Expert-Colloquium in Greifswald, Germany, 1997
Andreas Warnke, K. Hennighausen, and H. Remschmidt
(University of Würzburg, Germany):
"Dyslexia: anatomical and functional conditions of cortical information
Gerd Schulte-Körne, T. Grimm, M. Nöthen, and H. Remschmidt
(University of Marburg, Germany):
"Genetics of reading and spelling disability - Results of family studies
and linkage analyses"
Shelley Smith and Richard Olson
(University of Colorado, USA):
"Genetic and environmental influences in dyslexia"
Gerd Schulte-Körne, W. Deimel, J. Bartling, K. Hennighausen, and H. Remschmidt
(University of Marburg, Germany):
"Neurophysiological examination of auditory processing abilities in
spelling disabled children and adults"
(University of Salzburg, Austria):
"Is the phonological deficit explanation of dyslexia correct for German
(University of Oxford, England):
"The magnocellular theory of developmental dyslexia"
Nicole von Steinbüchel
(University of Munich, Germany):
"Association of temporal discrimination and laguage competence in
aphasic patients, reading and writing impaired children, and children
David Zola, and G. McConkie
(University of Illinois, USA):
"Children's word perception: oculomotor control and perceptual strategy"
Monica Biscaldi, and B. Fischer
(University of Freiburg, Germany):
"Reflexive and voluntary components of saccade control in dyslexia"
(University of Turku, Finland):
"Dyslexic readers' eye movement patterns in reading and non- reading
(University of Oslo, Norway):
"Visual factors in reading difficulties" (Paper referred by J. Stein)
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letzte Änderung: 30. November 2008