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Slide Slam S17 Sandbox Series

Sleep Dependent Consolidation in Language Learning among Adults with and without Dyslexia – A Sandbox Submission

Slide Slam Session S, Friday, October 8, 2021, 12:00 - 2:30 pm PDT Log In to set Timezone

Eva Kimel1, Dafna Ben Zion1, Anat Prior1, Ilana S. Hairston2, Tali Bitan1; 1University of Haifa, Israel, 2Tel Hai Academic College, Israel

Background: Dyslexia is a universal neurodevelopmental disorder affecting ~7% of the population. It is characterized by slow, error-prone, reading and broader language-related deficits. Individuals with dyslexia (IDDs) have a smaller vocabulary and difficulty learning language regularities in some tasks. This study focuses on the role of sleep in the consolidation of learning of linguistic rules and novel vocabulary among adults with and without dyslexia. Sleep plays an active role in the consolidation of newly learned linguistic information in typically developing individuals, but the link between sleep and language learning in dyslexia is understudied. The role of sleep in consolidation in dyslexia has only been examined in a small number of developmental studies, and no studies were conducted with adults. Thus, the goals of the proposed study are to examine learning and consolidation of new vocabulary and new linguistic rules in adults with dyslexia, to examine sleep patterns of adults with dyslexia, and to examine how language consolidation is affected by sleep architecture and properties among adults with and without dyslexia. Methods: Fifty adults, half of whom will have a diagnosis of dyslexia, will participate in the study. Screening tests will be performed to collect standardized measures of reading ability, phonological and morphological abilities, and working memory. The artificial language is adapted from previous studies, which have shown evidence for sleep-dependent facilitation of learning of new words and linguistic regularities. We examine item specific learning, and also measure generalization of regularities to untrained items. The procedure includes an evening training followed by polysomnography acquired during the night in a sleep lab. Additional tests are administered 12 hrs., 36 hrs., and one week after training to assess offline consolidation. Sleep stages will be scored and other sleep measures will be computed: number of sleep cycles, power spectral density, amount of slow wave sleep, k-complexes, spindle count and density, and a coherence measure between spindle density and slow wave activity. First, sleep characteristics of IDDs will be compared to those of non-IDDs. Additionally, the correlation of these sleep measures with offline consolidation on the experimental task, and with standardized measures of phonological and morphological abilities will be examined.

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