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The present study investigated basic numerical skills and arithmetic in adults with developmental dyslexia. Participants performed exact and approximate calculation, basic numerical tasks (e.g., counting; symbolic number comparison; spatial-numerical association of response codes, SNARC), and visuospatial tasks (mental rotation and visual search tasks). The group with dyslexia showed a marginal impairment in counting compared to age- and IQ-matched controls, and they were impaired in exact addition, in particular with respect to speed. They were also significantly slower in multiplication. In basic number processing, however, there was no significant difference in performance between those with dyslexia and controls. Both groups performed similarly on subtraction and approximate addition tasks. These findings indicate that basic number processing in adults with dyslexia is intact. Their difficulties are restricted to the verbal code and are not associated with deficits in nonverbal magnitude representation, visual Arabic number form, or spatial cognition.

Original publication




Journal article


Q J Exp Psychol (Hove)

Publication Date





1361 - 1373


Adolescent, Attention, Cognition, Dyslexia, Female, Humans, Male, Mathematics, Memory, Short-Term, Mental Processes, Neuropsychological Tests, Photic Stimulation, Reading, Space Perception, Young Adult