What is wrong in the brain that causes a person to suffer from dyslexica?
It's fairly complex I think. Have you looked at the wiki article? Might get you started.
I thought you guys might want to look at this too. I have an interest in dyslexia because I have it, and growing up in school was very hard. It was even predicted by the doctors that diagnosed me that I would never read past and elementary level. While I can read fine now, I still have a spelling problem, but luckily my computer has a spell check on it.
It can be complex. My wife has trouble spelling when she's writing things out by hand, but her spelling is just fine when we play Scrabble. See "Dysgraphia". I don't know why having wooden letter-tiles to spell with is so much easier for her than hand-writing, but the difference is dramatic. She's a voracious reader, mostly mystery novels, and plows through books constantly, so reading and comprehension are no problem.
Well, if in no other way but speed, they're like night and day.
Million dollar question.
Looks like there are some subtle differences in wiring, but so far nobody knows details.
Physics people aren't experts on language. I've actually been looking for some other forum to discuss my grievances with the english language language. If any one sees one, let me know. All the forums I found were for "English as a second language".
Here's a blog. That might get you started.
Many years ago I read a book by Neurologist Wilder Pennfield in which he reported that when he was practicing staining brain slices for viewing under a microscope samples of a dyslexic brain came in. He stained them and had a look and saw that the neurons were oriented in a strange swirled pattern. (This only pertained to some small part of the left hemisphere, not the whole brain.)
I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else, but I haven't ever made too much of an effort to research dyslexia.
Sounds interesting, but I have not heard about it as well - and I suppose it will came out when my wife was working at Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology. She was helping find a test and control group using psychological tests, so she was not directly involved in the research, but just out of curiosity she has attended all seminars in her group. No known anatomical aberrances were mentioned.
Thanks DaveC, I'll look into that.
If you are taking an evolutionary view (which is good to counter the idea that the dyslexic brain is necessarily wrong or broken) then remember that the human brain and body have at least 150,000 years of fine-tuned evolution for being able to speak, then someone invented reading, writing and 'rithmetic around 4000 years ago. And even then, only a small percentage of the world population were employing these strange skills.
The habit of reading silently in the head, or writing at speed, are even more recent. In the middleages, scholars who could read without speaking aloud were viewed with some suspicion.
So we are talking about a strange and unnatural skill that humans can learn, but are not specifically adapted for. A section of any human population would struggle because they might be at the tail end of a normal distribution for basic spoken language skills like syllabic decoding (hearing the individual phonemic components of rapid speech - the phonological model of dyslexia).
By the same token, there would be no reason to see dyslexia as some special neural gift. Though if you struggle in some areas of life, you may be inclined to throw your energies into others.
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