Dyslexia and the anchoring-deficit hypothesis

Merav Ahissar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Scopus citations


The 'core deficit' of dyslexia has been characterized by different researchers in terms of either phonological impairments or of difficulties in processing basic visual and auditory stimuli. Recent findings suggest that a single type of impairment in the dynamics of perception, which affects the efficiency of short-term memory, might underlie the broad range of difficulties of dyslexics. Experimental findings show that the general population quickly and automatically tunes around incoming stimuli, 'anchors to them' and performs faster and more accurately when these stimuli are subsequently repeated. Dyslexic individuals fail to benefit from stimulus-specific repetitions. This deficit can account for phonological, working memory, visual and auditory difficulties, in addition to the greater sensitivity of dyslexics to external noise.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)458-465
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I thank the Israeli Institute for Psychobiology and the Israeli Science Foundation for supporting the described research, Yedida Lubin for discussing the text, editing the manuscript and plotting the figures and I also thank Ehud Ahissar for helpful comments on the manuscript.


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