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Gender-specific contribution of a visual cognition network to reading abilities

Authors

  • Lynn Huestegge,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Psychology, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH Aachen University), Aachen, Germany
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  • Stefan Heim,

    1. Section Structural Functional Brain Mapping, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical School, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
    2. Institute for Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1), Research Centre Jülich, Germany
    3. Section Neurological Cognition Research, Department of Neurology, Medical School, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
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  • Elena Zettelmeyer,

    1. Institute of Psychology, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH Aachen University), Aachen, Germany
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  • Christiane Lange-Küttner

    1. London Metropolitan University, London, UK
    2. University of Konstanz, Germany
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Lynn Huestegge, Institute of Psychology, RWTH Aachen University, Jägerstrasse 17–19, Aachen D-52056, Germany (e-mail: lynn.huestegge@psych.rwth-aachen.de).

Abstract

Based on the assumption that boys are more likely to tackle reading based on the visual modality, we assessed reading skills, visual short-term memory (VSTM), visual long-term memory for details (VLTM-D), and general non-verbal cognitive ability in primary school children. Reading was within the normal range in both accuracy and understanding. There was no reading performance gap in favour of girls, on the contrary, in this sample boys read better. An entire array of visual, non-verbal processes was associated directly or indirectly with reading in boys, whereas this pattern was not observed for the girls.

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