Dyslexia: The role of the cerebellum

Angela Fawcett*, Rod Nicolson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: In this review article we outline the thinking and evidence behind our hypothe-sis that the problems suffered by dyslexic people may be attributable to cerebellar deficit. Method: Firstly, we provide an overview of recent evidence that proposes a central role for the cerebellum in cognitive skills, in particular those scaffolded by spoken language, in addi-tion to its well-recognised role in motor skills. Secondly, we outline evidence from our labo-ratory that cerebellar function is abnormal in dyslexia. Results: We consider two specific lines of evidence: behavioral, and converging evidence from neuroimaging, which demonstrate significant differences between the dyslexic and con-trol groups. We also apply the same battery of behavioural tests to a group of children who are non-discrepant poor readers. Discussion: Finally, we provide an ontogenetic causal chain for the development of dyslexia in terms of cerebellar deficit from birth, considering the implications of this framework for the key questions in dyslexia research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-58
Number of pages24
JournalElectronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2004


  • Causal-chain
  • Cerebellum
  • Dyslexia
  • Phonology


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