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Type: Journal article
Title: What is going on with visual attention in reading and dyslexia? A critical review of recent studies
Author: Perry, C.
Long, H.
Citation: Brain Sciences, 2022; 12(1):87-1-87-11
Publisher: MDPI AG
Issue Date: 2022
ISSN: 2076-3425
Statement of
Conrad Perry and Heidi Long
Abstract: This critical review examined current issues to do with the role of visual attention in reading. To do this, we searched for and reviewed 18 recent articles, including all that were found after 2019 and used a Latin alphabet. Inspection of these articles showed that the Visual Attention Span task was run a number of times in well-controlled studies and was typically a small but significant predictor of reading ability, even after potential covariation with phonological effects were accounted for. A number of other types of tasks were used to examine different aspects of visual attention, with differences between dyslexic readers and controls typically found. However, most of these studies did not adequately control for phonological effects, and of those that did, only very weak and non-significant results were found. Furthermore, in the smaller studies, separate within-group correlations between the tasks and reading performance were generally not provided, making causal effects of the manipulations difficult to ascertain. Overall, it seems reasonable to suggest that understanding how and why different types of visual tasks affect particular aspects of reading performance is an important area for future research.
Keywords: Vision; attention; reading; dyslexia; critical review
Rights: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
DOI: 10.3390/brainsci12010087
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Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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