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Computer games to end dyslexia

Games could be good for you after all -- geeks everywhere are jumping for joysticks

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Dyslexics should be encouraged to play more computer games, top boffins have declared. The likes of Quake may hold the key to helping those who have the condition through the use of sound. Reading difficulties associated with dyslexia stem from the way the brain handles sounds, according to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The research backs up theories that computer games could train the mind to recognise sounds like "ba" and "da" with greater accuracy. How these types of short, quick successive noises are processed by the mind contributes to early speech and reading problems. "The way that the brain processes sound in poor readers is very different from its processing and representation of rapidly changing sound inputs in competent readers," said Professor Michael Merzenich, University of California. Researchers from UCSF and Rutgers University have already developed computer games aimed at helping young dyslexics. They make use of animation, funny sounds, computer-modified speech, point-scoring and prizes. ®

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