Affordable Access

Ahead of maturation: Enhanced speech envelope training boosts rise time discrimination in pre-readers at cognitive risk for dyslexia

  • Van Herck, Shauni; 125029;
  • Vanden Bempt, Femke; 110537;
  • Economou, Maria; 119203;
  • Vanderauwera, Jolijn;
  • Glatz, Toivo;
  • Dieudonne, Benjamin; 105423;
  • Vandermosten, Maaike; 48220;
  • Ghesquiere, Pol; 4944;
  • Wouters, Jan; 10113;
Publication Date
May 01, 2022
External links


Dyslexia has frequently been related to atypical auditory temporal processing and speech perception. Results of studies emphasizing speech onset cues and reinforcing the temporal structure of the speech envelope, that is, envelope enhancement (EE), demonstrated reduced speech perception deficits in individuals with dyslexia. The use of this strategy as auditory intervention might thus reduce some of the deficits related to dyslexia. Importantly, reading-skill interventions are most effective when they are provided during kindergarten and first grade. Hence, we provided a tablet-based 12-week auditory and phonics-based intervention to pre-readers at cognitive risk for dyslexia and investigated the effect on auditory temporal processing with a rise time discrimination (RTD) task. Ninety-one pre-readers at cognitive risk for dyslexia (aged 5-6) were assigned to two groups receiving a phonics-based intervention and playing a story listening game either with (n = 31) or without (n = 31) EE or a third group playing control games and listening to non-enhanced stories (n = 29). RTD was measured directly before, directly after and 1 year after the intervention. While the groups listening to non-enhanced stories mainly improved after the intervention during first grade, the group listening to enhanced stories improved during the intervention in kindergarten and subsequently remained stable during first grade. Hence, an EE intervention improves auditory processing skills important for the development of phonological skills. This occurred before the onset of reading instruction, preceding the maturational improvement of these skills, hence potentially giving at risk children a head start when learning to read. A video abstract of this article can be viewed at / status: Published online

Report this publication


Seen <100 times