G5 Doctoral dissertation (article)
Brain responses to morphological processing at pre-school and first grade in children with and without familial risk for dyslexia (2021)
Morfologiseen prosessointiin liittyvät aivojen herätevasteet esikoulua ja ensimmäistä luokkaa käyvillä lapsilla, joista osalla on perinnöllinen lukivaikeusriski

Louleli, N. (2021). Brain responses to morphological processing at pre-school and first grade in children with and without familial risk for dyslexia [Doctoral dissertation]. Jyväskylän yliopisto. JYU Dissertations, 439. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-8873-9

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Louleli, Natalia

eISBN: 978-951-39-8873-9

Journal or series: JYU Dissertations

eISSN: 2489-9003

Publication year: 2021

Number in series: 439

Number of pages in the book: 1 verkkoaineisto (80 sivua, 36 sivua useina numerointijaksoina)

Publisher: Jyväskylän yliopisto

Place of Publication: Jyväskylä

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: English

Persistent website address: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-8873-9

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel


Typical reading acquisition requires converting written forms (orthography) into a spoken language (phonology) and the ability to manipulate efficiently the smallest meaningful units of language, the morphemes. Dyslexia or difficulties in the acquisition of reading and writing skills, prevent typical reading acquisition and development. Dyslexia is heritable within families; thus, a history of dyslexia within a family could lead to higher chances of the progenies inheriting dyslexia themselves. This dissertation investigates longitudinally the pre-reading linguistic skills of children with and without familial risk for dyslexia. The goal of this dissertation is to investigate language-related processes to correct vs. incorrect morphological constructs in real words and pseudowords, as seen at the brain and behavioral level. Hence, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to measure the brain responses of Finnish pre-school (Study I) and first-grade children (Study II) to correctly and incorrectly derived Finnish nouns and pseudo nouns. Additionally, we longitudinally compared the morphological information processing of children at pre-school age (Study I) and later at first grade age (Study II). Then, we aimed to examine how derivational morphology in the Finnish language, concomitant accuracy and reaction times are associated with reading skills in first grade, in addition to the pre-school age reading-related cognitive skills (Study III). Results of Study I showed that both groups of children with and without risk for dyslexia acquired derivational morphology skills, as revealed at the behavioral and brain level, but no differences were observed between the groups with different risk profiles. Results of Study II demonstrated that typically developing children showed sensitivity to morphologically correct vs. incorrect contrast only for real words, while children at-risk for dyslexia showed sensitivity to morphological information processing both for real words and pseudowords. Yet, no significant differences emerged between the two groups. Moreover, Study II revealed significant developmental differences as seen in the behavioral and brain domain when comparing children at pre-school age with children at first grade age for the morphological processing of real words and pseudowords. Last, results of Study III replicated earlier findings; various pre-school cognitive skills were correlated with various first grade cognitive skills. In addition, pre-school children’s reaction time for correctly derived words was correlated with first-grade children’s performance in rapid automatized naming for letters. However, there were no significant correlations between brain activation or behavioral measures of morphological processing and first-grade reading skills. Overall, the findings of this dissertation showed the developmental changes of derivational morphology over time and that derivational morphology, even if it is acquired at pre-school age, does not seem to greatly influence reading acquisition. Further studies are still needed to compare, for example, inflectional and derivational morphology skills in children.

Keywords: children (age groups); language development; language disorders; reading disorders; dyslexia; predictability; language awareness; morphology (grammar); cognitive processes; MEG; doctoral dissertations

Free keywords: morphological processing; derivational morphology; pre-school children; first grade children; risk for dyslexia; magnetoencephalography; reading

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

Last updated on 2022-24-11 at 20:51