Research press release


Nature Communications

Neuroscience: A read for speed


失読症患者の読解力は、健常者より遅く、正確さの点で劣ることが多い。こうした読字障害に対する治療的介入は、成人期に向かって効果が低下し、その理由として、小児期を過ぎると脳の可塑性が低下することを挙げる考え方が提唱されていた。今回、Z Breznitzたちは、コンピューター化された読解速度向上訓練法の実証を試みた。この実験では、110人の大学生(そのうちの55人が失読症)に、時間的制約のある条件下で読解課題を行わせた。この訓練法により、失読症の成人と典型的な成人の読解力が向上し、失読症の成人の成績が、この訓練を受けない典型的な成人と同等になったことが判明した。こうした成績の向上は、訓練後6か月間、持続した。Breznitzたちは、時間的制約に重要な意味があるとし、同じ訓練を時間的制約なしに行った学生に訓練の効果が見られなかったことも報告している。


A training programme which induces faster reading improves reading comprehension and fluency in adults with dyslexia according to research in Nature Communications. The training is reported to bring dyslexic readers’ performance up to that of typical readers and leads to the conclusion that processes associated with reading, for example, cognitive processing, are malleable in adulthood.

Dyslexic individuals often possess reading skills that are slower and less accurate than that of their peers. It has been suggested that remedial interventions for reading deficits are less effective into adulthood due to a reduction in brain plasticity after childhood. Zvia Breznitz and colleagues trial a computerized reading acceleration training procedure where 110 university students, 55 of whom were dyslexic, were asked to complete reading task under time constraints. They found that the programme resulted in improved reading skills of both adult dyslexic readers and adult typical readers with the dyslexic readers’ performance being similar to that of typical readers who hadn’t undergone training. This improvement was then retained at six months post training. The authors report that identical training without the crucial time constraints proved ineffective for students.

They suggest that accelerated training helped close the gap between reading abilities in both groups by creating better synchronisation between brain systems that are activated in reading. They note, however, that imaging studies are needed in order to test this theory further. Whether this training would bring similar results for dyslexic children is also yet to be verified.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms2488

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