Neural and Genetic Mechanisms of Dyslexia

  • Tracy M. Centanni
Part of the Contemporary Clinical Neuroscience book series (CCNE)


Dyslexia is a common neurodevelopmental disorder and is marked by the failure to acquire reading in spite of normal nonverbal intelligence and adequate schooling. In spite of the plethora of interventions on the market, none claim 100% success and many individuals with dyslexia never achieve age-appropriate reading skills. This result is likely due to an increasingly accepted level of heterogeneity in this population, not just in the behavioral deficits present but in the core neural and genetic mechanisms as well. The differences in genetics, especially, have led to significant challenges for researchers to determine the biological mechanisms underlying dyslexia and optimize customized intervention options. Animal models are appealing for this type of research, because individual genes can be manipulated and the results studied in an ethical manner. This approach has led to new insights on the neurological and genetic causes of dyslexia but raises new questions about how well these models represent the biological underpinnings of this disorder in humans. In this chapter, I discuss the history of mechanism research in humans with dyslexia, recent approaches to tackling these questions in animal models, and the relationship between these findings and those in humans. I also discuss potential applications for this approach in the future as well as the limitations of this method.


Dyslexia Rodent Animal model Intervention Reading Plasticity Genetics 



Primary auditory cortex




Phonological awareness


Rapid automatized naming


Socioeconomic status


Single nucleotide polymorphism


Typically developing


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tracy M. Centanni
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentTexas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA

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