Have Scientists Found the Cause of Dyslexia?

New research by a pair of scientists from the University of Rennes in France shows that spots found in the eyes of people with dyslexia may in fact be the cause of the learning condition. And after studying those that are diagnosed, the team observed that most of the subjects had dominant spots in both of their eyes. The presence of these spots causes blurred images, which could lead to issues with processing visual information.

To conduct the study, researchers studied cell arrangement in the eyes of 30 non-dyslexic individuals and 30 with dyslexia with a tool called a foveascope. The team found varying shapes of spots deep in the eye where blue, green, and red cones are located. These cones are responsible for color.

For those without dyslexia, the researchers found a round spot with no blue cones deep within one eye, while the spot was elliptical or oval-shaped in the other eye. The round spot was more dominant than the other eye. As for those with dyslexia, both eyes seemed to have the round spot, making neither of the eyes dominant and confusing the brain since both eyes are relaying a different message to it.

Authors of the study Guy Ropars and Albert le Floch believe that it could be this symmetry of the round spots in both eyes could be the cause of dyslexia-related symptoms, such as struggles in reading or spelling.

“The lack of asymmetry might be the biological and anatomical basis or reading and spelling disabilities,” state the authors. “For dyslexic students their two eyes are equivalent and their brain has to successively rely on the two slightly different versions of a given visual scene.”

John Stein, a professor of neuroscience of the University of Oxford not involved with the study, states that while the research behind eye dominance is intriguing, it still shows no indication as to why asymmetry may take place. He also added dyslexia is much more complicated than just one issue and one issue cannot alone cause dyslexia.

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This piece is based on an article by Samriddhi Dastidar Tech Times, which can be seen here.

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Mike Nickas received his Bachelor of Arts in Film and Multimedia Studies at Florida Atlantic University in December of 2015, and is currently pursuing an education in the fields of neuropsychology and special education. He is the host of the online news show The Week in Neurodiversity, and author of the column Notions by Nickas. He also currently works as a camp counselor at Dr. Mike Rizzo’s Child Provider Specialists in Weston, FL.
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Mike Nickas

Mike Nickas received his Bachelor of Arts in Film and Multimedia Studies at Florida Atlantic University in December of 2015, and is currently pursuing an education in the fields of neuropsychology and special education. He is the host of the online news show The Week in Neurodiversity, and author of the column Notions by Nickas. He also currently works as a camp counselor at Dr. Mike Rizzo’s Child Provider Specialists in Weston, FL.

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