Impaired and Spared Auditory Category Learning in Developmental Dyslexia

Yafit Gabay, Casey L. Roark, Lori L. Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Categorization has a deep impact on behavior, but whether category learning is served by a single system or multiple systems remains debated. Here, we designed two well-equated nonspeech auditory category learning challenges to draw on putative procedural (information-integration) versus declarative (rule-based) learning systems among adult Hebrew-speaking control participants and individuals with dyslexia, a language disorder that has been linked to a selective disruption in the procedural memory system and in which phonological deficits are ubiquitous. We observed impaired information-integration category learning and spared rule-based category learning in the dyslexia group compared with the neurotypical group. Quantitative model-based analyses revealed reduced use of, and slower shifting to, optimal procedural-based strategies in dyslexia with hypothesis-testing strategy use on par with control participants. The dissociation is consistent with multiple category learning systems and points to the possibility that procedural learning inefficiencies across categories defined by complex, multidimensional exemplars may result in difficulty in phonetic category acquisition in dyslexia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-480
Number of pages13
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number4
Early online date15 Feb 2023
StatePublished - Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • auditory categorization
  • category learning
  • developmental dyslexia
  • multiple memory systems
  • procedural learning deficit


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