Dyslexic individuals orient but do not sustain visual attention: Electrophysiological support from the lower and upper alpha bands

Rob H.J. van der Lubbe* (Corresponding Author), Elian de Kleine, Karolina Rataj

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
162 Downloads (Pure)


Individuals with developmental dyslexia have been characterized by problems with attentional orienting. In the current study, we specifically focused on possible changes in endogenous visual orienting that may be reflected in the electroencephalogram. A variant of the Posner cuing paradigm was employed with valid or invalid central cues that preceded target stimuli that were presented in the left or right visual field. The target stimuli consisted of vertical or horizontal stripes with low (two thick lines) or high (six thin lines) spatial frequencies. We examined lateralized alpha power in the cue-target interval as recent studies revealed that a contra vs. ipsilateral reduction in alpha power relates to the orienting of attention. An initial orienting effect in the lower alpha band was more pronounced for dyslexic individuals than for controls, suggesting that they oriented at an earlier moment in time. However, in contrast with controls, at the end of the cue-target interval no clear contralateral reduction in the upper alpha band was observed for dyslexic individuals. Dyslexic individuals additionally displayed slower responses, especially for invalidly cued high spatial frequency targets in the left visual field. The current data support the view that dyslexic individuals orient well to the cued location but have a problem with sustaining their attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-41
Number of pages12
Early online date24 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Endogenous orienting
  • Lateralized alpha power
  • Spatial attention
  • Developmental dyslexia

Cite this