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Auditory Temporal Processing and its Disorders$
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Jos J. Eggermont

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198719090

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198719090.001.0001

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Dyslexia, specific language impairment, and auditory processing disorder

Dyslexia, specific language impairment, and auditory processing disorder

(p.244) Chapter 14 Dyslexia, specific language impairment, and auditory processing disorder
Auditory Temporal Processing and its Disorders

Jos Eggerrmont

Oxford University Press

Developmental dyslexia is defined as a specific and significant impairment in reading ability that cannot be explained by lower intelligence, learning opportunity, motivation or visual acuity. Specific language impairment (SLI) is defined as an unexpected and persistent impairment in language ability despite adequate opportunity and intelligence and in the absence of hearing loss or other explanatory medical conditions. Dyslexia and SLI are often assumed to result from an auditory temporal processing deficit. In this field, “the term temporal processing refers to the discrimination of brief, temporally proximate or temporally varying sensory stimuli.” Auditory processing disorder (APD) is a common, heterogeneous and poorly understood listening impairment that is receiving increasing recognition, especially in children and the elderly. The primary symptom in humans is poor speech perception despite clinically normal pure tone audiometry. The main questions discussed in this chapter comprise: are APD, SLI and dyslexia distinct disorders, and are they temporal processing disorders? The diagnosis and etiology of APD are similar to SLI and dyslexia, and APD often co-occurs with impairments of language, literacy, and attention. Developmental and behavioral genetic research suggests that one should expect APD to co-occur frequently with other symptoms. There is considerable disagreement about the role of temporal processing deficits for these disorders. It is likely that following delayed maturation the remaining and potentially modest temporal processing deficits may lead to cognitive deficits or an increased cognitive load, or make co-occurring cognitive deficits more salient. Transient hearing problems occurring early in life may induce temporal processing disorders later in life.

Keywords:   heritability, genes, gap thresholds, phonology, speech, frequency-following response, speech-evoked brainstem response, human imaging, corpus callosum

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