About the project

We are testing children between the ages of 7 and 12, either those who have diagnoses of either dyslexia or coordination disorder and also typically developing children, who may not have literacy or coordination difficulties.

The study uses both pencil and paper and neuroimaging techniques to look at the mechanisms involved in dyslexia and DCD. All of the measures are completely non-invasive and participants can complete some or all of the measures involved in the study. We are particularly interested in obtaining measures of processing speed, and are using a method called auditory gap detection to assess this in two different ways.


The first method uses a computer where children complete a game with hiccupping snakes. The 'hiccup' is a very brief silent gap in an ongoing sound which the child is asked to detect. The computer adjusts the length of the 'gap' until it is just noticeable.

The second method uses a brain imaging technique called Magnetoencephalography (MEG). MEG is a completely non-invasive technique that we use to determine the brain's sensitivity to gaps in auditory stimuli. To visualize where in the brain the detection of the gaps is occurring we also ask children to complete a Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan. This takes about 10 minutes and can be completed while the child watches a video of their choice.

The MEG scan tells us what is happening in the brain. Putting this information together with the MRI pictures tells us where in the brain things are happening. This will help us to understand how the brain develops and help us look for some of the differences in brain development we think are associated with dyslexia and motor coordination difficulties.

Early results from the project >

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research