Does the Auditory Saltation Stimulus Distinguish Dyslexic From Competently Reading Adults? Purpose Where the auditory saltation illusion has been used as a measure of auditory temporal processing (ATP) in dyslexia, conflicting results have been apparent (cf. R. Hari & P. Kiesilä, 1996; M. Kronbichler, F. Hutzler, & H. Wimmer, 2002). This study sought to re-examine these findings by investigating whether dyslexia ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2007
Does the Auditory Saltation Stimulus Distinguish Dyslexic From Competently Reading Adults?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joanna C. Kidd
    The University of Hong Kong, SAR, China
  • John H. Hogben
    The University of Western Australia, Perth
  • Contact author: Joanna C. Kidd, Department of Psychology, The University of Hong Kong, 721 Knowles Building, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, SAR, China. E-mail: jkidd@hkucc.hku.hk.
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Reading & Writing Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2007
Does the Auditory Saltation Stimulus Distinguish Dyslexic From Competently Reading Adults?
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2007, Vol. 50, 982-998. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/069)
History: Received October 18, 2005 , Revised April 27, 2006 , Accepted October 24, 2006
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2007, Vol. 50, 982-998. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/069)
History: Received October 18, 2005; Revised April 27, 2006; Accepted October 24, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose Where the auditory saltation illusion has been used as a measure of auditory temporal processing (ATP) in dyslexia, conflicting results have been apparent (cf. R. Hari & P. Kiesilä, 1996; M. Kronbichler, F. Hutzler, & H. Wimmer, 2002). This study sought to re-examine these findings by investigating whether dyslexia is characterized by poor saltation task performance and whether saltation thresholds are related to reading and phonological processing within groups of either dyslexic or competent readers.

Method Nineteen dyslexic and 20 competently reading adults (18–64 years of age) participated. Participants completed 2 runs of a 2-alternative forced-choice saltation task, along with standard measures of reading and phonological processing.

Results Although overall poorer saltation thresholds were apparent in the dyslexic group, the threshold distributions overlapped considerably, with thresholds alone unable to predict group membership at a level significantly greater than chance. Neither strong nor significant correlations were observed among saltation thresholds, reading, and phonological processing skills within either group.

Conclusion The results of this study do not support suggestions of impaired ATP in dyslexia or associations among ATP, reading, and phonological processing. However, it is proposed that increased within- and between-subject variability in auditory thresholds might be a more valuable marker of dyslexia than the thresholds themselves. Implications of this observation for dyslexia research are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by a grant from the Australian Research Council. We gratefully acknowledge Neil Roach and Peter Bailey for helpful advice on the implications of the present data.
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