Dyslexic adults can learn from repeated stimulus presentation but have difficulties in excluding external noise.
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AbstractWe examined whether the characteristic impairments of dyslexia are due to a deficit in excluding external noise or a deficit in taking advantage of repeated stimulus presentation. We compared non-impaired adults and adults with poor reading performance on a visual letter detection task that varied two aspects: the presence or absence of background visual noise, and a small or large stimulus set. There was no interaction between group and stimulus set size, indicating that the poor readers took advantage of repeated stimulus presentation as well as the non-impaired readers. The poor readers had higher thresholds than non-impaired readers in the presence of high external noise, but not in the absence of external noise. The results support the hypothesis that an external noise exclusion deficit, not a perceptual anchoring deficit, impairs reading for adults.