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Volkmer, Susanne; Schulte-Koerne, Gerd (2018): Cortical responses to tone and phoneme mismatch as a predictor of dyslexia? A systematic review. In: Schizophrenia Research, Vol. 191: pp. 148-160
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Evidence from event-related-potential (ERP) studies has repeatedly shown differences in the perception and processing of auditory stimuli in children with dyslexia compared to control children. The mismatch negativity (MMN) - an ERP component reflecting passive auditory change detection ability - has been found to be reduced, not only in children with a diagnosis of dyslexia, but also in infants and preschool children at risk of developing dyslexia. However, the results are controversial due to the different methods, age of the children and stimuli used. The aim of the present review is to summarize and evaluate the MMN research about at-risk children in order to identify risk factors that discriminate between children with and without dyslexia risk and to analyze if the MMR (the abbreviation refers to positive and negative mismatch responses) correlates with later reading and spelling ability. A literature search yielded 17 studies reporting MMR to speech or non-speech stimuli in children at risk of dyslexia. The results of the studies were inconsistent. Studies measuring speech MMR often found attenuated amplitudes in the at-risk group, but mainly in very young children. The results for older children (6-7 years) and for non-speech stimuli are more heterogeneous. A moderate positive correlation of MMR amplitude size with later reading and spelling abilities was consistently found. Overall, the findings of this review indicate that the MMR can be a valuable part of early dyslexia identification, which can enable efficient support and intervention for a child before the first problems appear.