Dyslexics also have trouble with memory, says Ghent researcher


A PhD researcher at Ghent University has discovered that there’s a lot more involved with dyslexia than a lack of connection between words and sounds

New perspectives

Adults with dyslexia also experience difficulties remembering information in the short term, according to PhD researcher Louisa Bogaerts of Ghent University. Bogaerts, who has dyslexia herself, examined the role of the memory in reading problems.

Apart from issues with short-term memory, people with dyslexia also have trouble remembering the order of elements in a series, including the sequence of figures in a telephone number or the letters in a word. This causes them to misspell even simple words; they might spell “bar” as “bra”, for example, she said.

“Because those with dyslexia often interchange the order of letters or sounds, they are less adept at learning words than other people, which leads to slower and less accurate reading,” said Bogaerts. The problems with memory concerning order explains why people with dyslexia also experience difficulties outside the area of language, such as with learning a series of notes on a piano.

Bogaerts also found, however, that dyslexics can memorise information they have learned as well as others. The study proves that dyslexia is not solely caused by a faulty understanding of the relationship between letters and sounds, as was traditionally thought. Bogaerts’ thesis results provide perspectives for new treatments of dyslexia.

Photo courtesy Ingimage

Ghent University

Ghent University (UGent) is one of Flanders’ most pluralistic and liberal institutions of higher education, and its motto has long been “dare to think”. UGent is renowned for its research in bio and life sciences.
Latin - UGent was originally founded as a Latin-speaking state university by the Dutch king William I.
Nobel - Corneel Heymans, the only Fleming to have won a Nobel Prize, studied at the university.
Autonomy - UGent is the largest employer in East Flanders.

million euros in annual revenue

1 882

first female student admitted

1 930

Dutch becomes university’s official language