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Title: Sentence processing in dyslexia : an examination of eye movements and comprehension
Author: Stella, Marianna
ISNI:       0000 0004 7973 1972
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis aimed to investigate the comprehension and eye movements of adults and adolescents with dyslexia while reading sentences with complex syntax. We focused on the processing of sentences with temporary syntactic ambiguity (Chapter 2), sentences that contain relative clauses (Chapter 3), as well as active and passive, plausible and implausible sentences (Chapter 4). The final experiment reported in this thesis involved the examination of the way that dyslexic and non-dyslexic adolescents comprehend and process all three types of sentences that were the focus of the adult studies (Chapter 5). We also compared the similarities and differences between the adult and adolescent samples, in order to attempt to provide some exploratory insight into the trajectory that the development of sentence processing and comprehension follows from adolescence to adulthood. Results showed that dyslexic adults show poorer comprehension than controls in sentences with syntactic ambiguity, and in passive and implausible sentences. However, dyslexics showed similar comprehension accuracy to controls in sentences that contained relative clauses. Despite the type of sentence examined, dyslexic adults showed consistently longer reading times than non-dyslexics. Dyslexic adolescents showed similar result patterns to dyslexic adults. More specifically, they showed consistently longer reading times in all types of sentences and poorer comprehension in garden-path and passive sentences. This highlights the differences in development of comprehension and processing of sentences between non-dyslexic and dyslexic individuals of all ages. Throughout this thesis, we additionally examined the role of several cognitive factors (working memory, processing speed, verbal intelligence) in comprehension and processing of sentences. Working memory in general appeared to be more associated with group differences than the other two factors. The findings of the studies presented in this thesis provide invaluable insights into the manifestation of dyslexia as a cognitive-developmental disorder in the processing and comprehension of sentences in adolescence and adulthood.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available