How aliens can help us understand dyslexia!

How aliens can help us understand dyslexia!

Did you ever wonder how two aliens would communicate, while they are have having breakfast?
What would they talk about? Politics? The economy? Their relationship & Love?
Unfortunately we cannot answer this. Neither would we be able to understand the conversation between the two extra-terrestrials, but this might be a good path for understanding language in general.

Dyslexia is the most common learning disability and yet there is still a lot we don’t know about it. Think about how dependent you are on the ability to read in your everyday life, you are depending on it right now while reading this blogpost. People with dyslexia have problems learning the association of a letter with the appropriate sound, which leads them to struggle with learning to read and makes them read slower than average.

You are probably asking yourself ‘But what do aliens have to do with dyslexia?’, let me explain. Imagine the following scenario: we find a new intelligent species in this universe, logically the first thing we would try to do is communicate with them. To do so we would have to learn the language. As it turns out the aliens have two different languages, in one language every syllable sounds really alike in the other language the syllables are easy to differentiate but the “Letters” they use are hardly distinguishable. Which alien language do you think is easier to master for the human species? Is it going to be different for the 3-10% of humanity that have dyslexia?

This is what our study is trying to figure out. By discovering whether the similarity of syllables or the similarity of letters (also called grapheme) is influencing the success of learning a language can help us to identify the underlying mechanism of dyslexia. This can lead to  better ways of helping dyslexics by adjusting training programs.

Research group 40

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