This study was conducted to investigate the previously indicated causal relationship between reading impairment and difficulties in rhythm perception in an adult sample. In our study the comparison was made between the family risk for dyslexia and the no-risk for dyslexia groups to assess the possibility of shared risk factors. We hypothesized that a relationship exists between reading deficits and lower performance in rhythm perception within the family risk for dyslexia participant group. The participants were young adults (N = 119, aged from 20 to 48 years old). We assessed the reading abilities, rhythm perception performance and memory performance, and sensorimotor music reward experiences of our participants. Our results indicate that in adulthood rhythm perception appears to correlate with aspects of memory function, rather than with measures of reading fluency. Our results also suggest an indirect relationship between rhythm perception and word text reading fluency through short-term memory within the family risk for dyslexia group. A weak positive correlation between sensorimotor musical reward experience and pseudoword reading fluency was detected as well. We suggest family risk for dyslexia as an additional variable in future research.
Rhythm and Reading Abilities: Adult Readers, Rhythm Perception and the Role of Memory and Sensory Motor Engagement
J. Riikka Ahokas, Ariane Tretow, Petri Toiviainen, Paavo Leppänen, Suvi Saarikallio; Rhythm and Reading Abilities: Adult Readers, Rhythm Perception and the Role of Memory and Sensory Motor Engagement. Music Perception 1 December 2023; 41 (2): 148–159. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/mp.2023.41.2.148
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