Video games can help improve dyslexia

An Oxford University study has shown a link between video games and improved reading and attention skills.

New research highlights that video games – especially the action packed games – are beneficial to those with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, as it helps to improve sufferers’ reading and attention skills.

While it is well known that dyslexics process low-level visual and auditory stimuli such as video games in a different way to non-dyslexics, the Oxford University study aimed to highlight audiovisual multisensory processes – the processes dyslexics need to succeed in video games.

36 participants were involved in the research – 17 with dyslexia and 19 without – and they were required to press a button each time they heard a sound and/or saw a flash of dim light patterns.

Dyslexics typically find it more difficult to process both reading materials and auditory instructions, and the study showed that in comparison to participants without a learning disability, dyslexics exhibit deficits in the pathways that enable a quick shift of focus from one process to another.

This means that although dyslexics tend to have good creativity and innovation, the process of information between different areas of the brain is unnaturally slow.

Action packed video games are thought to be of benefit because they are filled with sensory stimuli that includes all areas of the brain. In order to succeed and win, the dyslexic is forced to improve their connectivity between the two parts of the brain, so that information processes faster.

These findings suggest video games may be more efficient in helping to make life easier for dyslexics than the commonly used approach of phonetics. Although phonetics does combine visual and auditory processes, the confusion dyslexics experience over the shapes of certain letters means it is not completely effective.

A lifecoach can help you to overcome the challenges of dyslexia, and will encourage you to develop your skills and learn new approaches. For more information and advice, see our dyslexia coaching page.

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Tamara Marshall

Written by Tamara Marshall

Written by Tamara Marshall

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