Music Training Positively Influences the Preattentive Perception of Voice Onset Time in Children with Dyslexia: A Longitudinal Study

  • Frey Aline
  • François Clément
  • Chobert Julie
  • Velay Jean-Luc
  • Habib Michel
  • Besson Mireille

  • Children with dyslexia
  • Syllables
  • Longitudinal study
  • School-aged children
  • EEG
  • Music training
  • Mismatch Negativity MMN
  • Syllables
  • Development

ART

Previous results showed a positive influence of music training on linguistic abilities at both attentive and preattentive levels. Here, we investigate whether six months of active music training is more efficient than painting training to improve the preattentive processing of phonological parameters based on durations that are often impaired in children with developmental dyslexia (DD). Results were also compared to a control group of Typically Developing (TD) children matched on reading age. We used a Test–Training–Retest procedure and analysed the Mismatch Negativity (MMN) and the N1 and N250 components of the Event-Related Potentials to syllables that differed in Voice Onset Time (VOT), vowel duration, and vowel frequency. Results were clear-cut in showing a normalization of the preattentive processing of VOT in children with DD after music training but not after painting training. They also revealed increased N250 amplitude to duration deviant stimuli in children with DD after music but not painting training, and no training effect on the preattentive processing of frequency. These findings are discussed in view of recent theories of dyslexia pointing to deficits in processing the temporal structure of speech. They clearly encourage the use of active music training for the rehabilitation of children with language impairments.