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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology

Committee Chair

Shawn, Davis, Ph.D. Thesis Chair

Second Advisor

Benson, Schaeffj Ph.D. Thesis Reader


Basic reading disability (BRD), also called developmental dyslexia, is a neurological disorder with a genetic origin, primarily characterized by reading ability below what is expected given adequate instruction, intelligence, and motivation. In this review, I describe the epidemiology of and diverse deficit profiles associated with BRD. I compare and contrast three competing causal theories of BRD: phonological, magnocellular, and cerebellar. I then discuss instruments that claim to assess and predict reading problems and areas that require further research. Finally, I introduce an experimental test I have developed, Zack's Zoo Adventure (ZZA), which is a game-like computer-administered phonic reading skills test that benefits from research on the phonological processing theory and has the potential to increase our understanding of BRD.


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