Dyslexia and Sound (IMAGE) Boston Children's Hospital Caption New research shows that children with dyslexia, compared to typical readers, have trouble processing fast-changing sounds. Scientists believe this prevents them from properly learning syllables when they first hear language, which later causes reading difficulties. In the test above, children listened to two types of sounds: sounds whose acoustic qualities changed quickly, as in normal speech, and slowed-down sounds that changed slowly. Yellow spots indicate brain areas that responded more strongly to fast-changing sounds than slow-changing sounds. Typical readers (Image A) used eleven brain areas more extensively when processing fast-changing as opposed to slow-changing sounds. In contrast, children with dyslexia (Image B) didn't show these differences; they used the same brain areas to the same degree to process both fast- and slow-changing sounds. After computer training, the lesser-used brain regions "awakened" (image C). The dyslexic children's brains processed fast-changing sounds more like typical readers' brains, and their reading improved. Credit Nadine Gaab, PhD, Children's Hospital Boston Usage Restrictions Use image credit. License Licensed content Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.