Lexical learning and dysgraphia in a group of adults with developmental dyslexia

Anna Maria di Betta, Cristina Romani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the ability to learn new words in a group of 22 adults with developmental dyslexia/dysgraphia and the relationship between their learning and spelling problems. We identified a deficit that affected the ability to learn both spoken and written new words (lexical learning deficit). There were no comparable problems in learning other kinds of representations (lexical/semantic and visual) and the deficit could not be explained in terms of more traditional phonological deficits associated with dyslexia (phonological awareness, phonological STM). Written new word learning accounted for further variance in the severity of the dysgraphia after phonological abilities had been partialled out. We suggest that lexical learning may be an independent ability needed to create lexical/formal representations from a series of independent units. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed. © 2005 Psychology Press Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-400
Number of pages25
JournalCognitive Neuropsychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2006

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Cognitive Neuropsychology on 03/07/07, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/02643290442000545


  • learing new words
  • developmental dyslexia/dysgraphia
  • spelling
  • learning
  • deficit
  • lexical learning deficit
  • phonological deficits
  • dyslexia
  • phonological awareness
  • phonological STM
  • dysgraphia


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