Different languages with different representations of the alphabet require a different approach from the brain to interpret sounds and meanings. But what does all this means to a dyslexic person?
Back in September 2004, it was reported that interpreting sounds and meanings from Chinese symbols requires a different part of the brain than the same exercise with English.
Now, a team from the University of Hong Kong has used voxel-based morphometry to compare the 3D structure of the brain in “normal” and dyslexic chinese children and came up with an interesting result: dyslexics have less gray matter in the left middle frontal gyros, an area related to the identification of images and shapes.
According to another study by a different research group, english-speaking dyslexics have less gray matter in the left parietal region, more involved in the translation of letters to sounds.
Knowing that the impairment is related to the anatomy of the brain might mean that an english-speaking dyslexic might not be dyslexic in chinese or any other pictographic-based language.
It’s another step in understanding a problem that affects between 5 and 10% of the population.
Other sites discussing this topic:
- Dyslexia differs by language (The Core Knowledge Blog),
- Dyslexia in Chinese Readers vs English Readers (Greg Laden’s Blog)
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