Deficits of visual search in Chinese children with dyslexia

Sisi LIU, Li Chih WANG, Duo LIU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)



There is emerging evidence that individuals with developmental dyslexia show deficits in visual–spatial attention. This study focused on visual searches and examined whether visual search deficits would be found in Chinese children with dyslexia. More importantly, we examined the associations between dyslexia and distinct types of visual searches, to determine whether deficits are specific to some visual searches but not others. 


The dyslexic children and their age-matched typical peers completed both the inefficient and relatively efficient search tasks. 


The dyslexic children were generally impaired in visual searches, although the deficit in inefficient searches was more severe than in efficient searches. After phonological awareness, working memory and nonverbal IQ were considered; inefficient searches were found to be selectively impaired. 


These findings suggest that visual search deficits in dyslexia are universal across alphabetic and logographic writing systems. They highlight the importance of further study on the role of top-down attention on reading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-468
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Research in Reading
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the General Research Fund of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Research Grants Council (HKIED: GRF/ECS 858113) and the Departmental Collaborative Research Fund. We thank all the children, their parents and teachers for their participation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 UKLA


  • Chinese reading
  • dyslexia
  • literacy development
  • visual–spatial attention


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