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Mental Health - Neuroscience - Pediatrics and Child Health - Physiology

Effect of a Dual Task on Postural Control in Dyslexic Children
Published: Monday, April 16, 2012
Author: Agathe Legrand et al.

by Agathe Legrand, Emmanuel Bui-Quoc, Karine Doré-Mazars, Christelle Lemoine, Christophe-Loïc Gérard, Maria Pia Bucci

Several studies have examined postural control in dyslexic children; however, their results were inconclusive. This study investigated the effect of a dual task on postural stability in dyslexic children. Eighteen dyslexic children (mean age 10.3±1.2 years) were compared with eighteen non-dyslexic children of similar age. Postural stability was recorded with a platform (TechnoConcept®) while the child, in separate sessions, made reflex horizontal and vertical saccades of 10° of amplitude, and read a text silently. We measured the surface and the mean speed of the center of pressure (CoP). Reading performance was assessed by counting the number of words read during postural measures. Both groups of children were more stable while performing saccades than while reading a text. Furthermore, dyslexic children were significantly more unstable than non-dyslexic children, especially during the reading task. Finally, the number of words read by dyslexic children was significantly lower than that of non-dyslexic children and, in contrast to the non-dyslexic children. In line with the U-shaped non-linear interaction model, we suggest that the attention consumed by the reading task could be responsible for the loss of postural control in both groups of children. The postural instability observed in dyslexic children supports the hypothesis that such children have a lack of integration of multiple sensorimotor inputs.