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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