It is estimated that 4-5% of the EU population suffers from a specific developmental reading disorder called dyslexia. A significant reduction of poor readers seems paramount, but no “hard” information on poor readers is available. The Pisa study rank ordered countries on educational achievements, but recent reports indicate that the differences within countries are larger than these between countries. Thus a closer look at poor readers themselves seems imperative.


01/200712/2008. Project ended.




  • Maastricht University, Netherlands (Leo Blomert)
  • Université de Provence, France (Johannes Ziegler)
  • Universidade do Algarve, Portugal (Alexandra Reis)
  • Ludwig Maximilians Universität, Germany (Gerd Schulte-Körne)
  • MTA Pszichológiai Kutatóintézet, Hungary (Valeria Csépe)
  • Jyväskylän yliopisto, Finland (Heikki Lyytinen)

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Knowledge about individual cognitive skills of poor readers is a key element for insights in poor reading, but is still lacking in present educational approaches. The borrowing of existing databases of rich cognitive information on individual poor readers from neuropsychological domains provides a unique opportunity for the construction and comparison of poor reader cognitive profiles across Europe. Knowledge about the aptness of poor reader support systems is likewise lacking and a comparative survey study is planned to fill this gap. The combination of both types of knowledge by two approaches from traditionally separated fields of research not only goes well beyond anything yet done, but is potentially very powerful, because it creates insights at an educational system level that is empirically founded on directly measured individual cognitive profiles of poor readers.

Six countries are working together in this project. The project is a comparative research in which the material collected from these countries is compared with each other. The aim of the research is to find out together with compatible scientific data how well will the school institutions be able to respond to the challenge of dyslexia in these countries.

The originality of the present approach lies in the combination of two research domains that have traditionally worked in isolation: cognitive neuropsychology and special education. Such a combination has never been done before and thus offers novel and unique insights.

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