Key Points

  • For some with dyslexia, the “letter box” of the mind is not reacting the way it does in average readers.
  • Reading does not come naturally. The brain of a human is not “wired” for reading
  • Children need to perceive speech sounds and letters quickly and accurately to read effectively.
  • Dyslexics experience difficulty with both listening to the sounds inside of words and perceiving letters.
  • The visual word structure region of the brain; in the occipital lobe, there is a “letter box”

The first endeavors to treat dyslexia 50 years or more ago focused around the significance of letter recognition. Early researchers misunderstood dyslexia and thought that children with dyslexia who had reading problems read the letters and words in reverse.

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Dehaene has shown that a young reader tends to confuse letter direction. Children need to discover that a “d” and a “b” are not the same despite the fact that they have a line and a circle at the base.  

The question when attempting to comprehend kids with dyslexia is whether the visual word structure is working the same way when kids battle to figure out how to read or to read fluently.

Previous blog entries have examined how most kids determined to have dyslexia show issues with the capacity to perceive speech sounds, the other portion of the “sound to letter” correspondence limit.

Be that as it may, are there additionally issues with identifying letters visually? Dr. Dehaene research indicates  that there are also problems with visual recognition of letters.

Visual versus Auditory – Does it matter for dyslexia? Read Here


The human mind develops numerous abilities. As we know well, most kids effectively figure out how to walk and talk with no explicit instruction.

What a large number of us don’t understand is that the human brain was not intended to read. The alphabet is only 4,000 years of age and yet the anthropologists say homo sapiens has been on earth for 200,000 years. Indeed, even after standard alphabets appeared not very many adults could read or compose. Actually, it wasn’t until the 20th century before universal reading and compulsory teaching was introduced.

Stanislas Dehaene, one of the neuroscientists specialized in reading and maths in the brain has noted that to read we need to use parts of the brain that was designed for other use We can consider this as a sort of neurological borrowing – brain circuitry, particularly adjusted over hundreds of years for one reason, say for communication, to end up being used for reading. Luckily, the dialect and visual object recognition systems of the cerebrum become full grown in early pre-school years, and after that multitask in a manner to reconfigure for reading.

To comprehend this mind-reusing method, we should remind ourselves of what is required for reading. The English alphabet and reading require that we combine the speech sounds of our dialect,  the phonemes, with the letters, graphemes. This “sound-letter (or phoneme-grapheme) correspondence” requires two limits – the capacity to identify speech sounds rapidly and precisely and then process letters rapidly and precisely. Dr. Dehaene discusses this in an article entitled “Inside the Letter Box”.

As indicated by Dr. Dehaene, “letterbox” which is the visual word structure region of the brain, is situated in the region area at the base of the visual part of the brain (the occipital lobe) in the left side of the hemisphere. It is known as the “letterbox” as a result of the fact that it demonstrates more stimulation to written words and not by other kinds of visual patterns (like places, faces).

The letter box is situated in the same spot for everyone who can read. It is particularly housed in the areas of the occipital lobe, which are activated once we see faces or pictured objects. Dehaene and others have noted that if the “letter box” is harmed or separated from other brain areas by a stroke or other kind of limited cerebrum damage, the individual frequently loses the ability to read.

Dr. Dehaene pointedly, states that the “letter box” doesn’t simply help us to perceive words. The letter box has other very complex capacities that are key for fluent reading. For instance, when a person is requested to figure out if the words composed as “READ” and read” are the same words,  it lights up first. Despite the fact that to most perusers of the this blog, that appears like a basic task, upper and lower case letters, for example, “B” and “b” or “G” and “g” or even “E” and “e” are not entirely similar in pattern and form.

We need to figure out how to “consider” them to be the same letter, despite the fact that they are altogether different shapes. That doesn’t happen with other visual items – we absolutely never see a circle and a square as the same shapes or our spouse’s and his or her brother’s faces as the same. So letters are distinctive only in that way  – When we read from script letters and a wide range of handwriting styles, upper and lower case letters are recognized as the same. Dr. Dehaene, and his colleagues in a recent brain imaging research report in the journal Neuroimage confirmed, great readers, demonstrate a well-developed visual word structure area (the letterbox).

Dyslexics, then again, demonstrated no such specialization for written words. Children who are struggling to read not only have problems perceiving the sounds within the words but also have problems recognizing the letters.  – At any rate the “letter box” part of the brain is not reacting the way it does in normal readers. Children need to discover that a word is not an item and that the inner subtle element of a word is as essential as the outline. The words House and Horse are different in pronunciation and meaning, although they look a great deal alike at first look, yet the distinction in the third letter makes an immense difference.

Children take time to figure this out – however, it doesn’t mean they have dyslexia. It appears that both sides of the reading equation are important – auditory/linguistic and visual. Research in the last couple of decades has shown that children with dyslexia have problems with sound-related perceptual, language components of reading and phonological awareness.   New research focuses on the significance of reading interventions that enhance all segments of reading disorders: visual letter recognition, auditory perception, language skills, and phonological awareness.

The new research likewise indicates the significance that has evidence-based information revealing the overlap with the intervention components and the underlying brain structural changes.

The intervention designed by neuroscience like Fast ForWord has examined adults and children with dyslexia by utilizing brain imaging technology. It is helpful because it shows when the activation of the brain area increases and the link to reading test gains.

Elise Temple and her partners performed such a study, utilizing fMRI really demonstrated that with kids who were determined to have dyslexia, the Fast ForWord Language program really expanded activity in language regions and also the visual word structure area.

Suggested readings

Dehaene, S. (2013) Inside the Letterbox: How Literacy Transforms the Human Brain. Cerebrum. May-June:7. Published online 2013 Jun 3.