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2018 - DSA e memoria di lavoro [Capitolo/Saggio]
Stella, Giacomo; Ferrara, Marika; Scorza, Maristella; Zonno Maria, Pia; Boni, CLAUDIA DARIA

Oggi sono sempre di più gli studenti con DSA che terminata la scuola secondaria di secondo grado, desiderano iscriversi all’università e che cercano di inserirsi in contesti lavorativi in linea con i propri studi e le proprie aspirazioni. Questo è sicuramente un segnale positivo, soprattutto per la crescente attenzione da parte del mondo accademico, anche se rimane ancora molto da fare per approdare a una completa inclusione. I contributi presenti in questo volume, attraverso un’ottica multidisciplinare, indagano quali siano le misure dispensative e gli strumenti compensativi da utilizzare, le buone prassi da seguire, le possibili prospettive lavorative e le strategie più efficaci per favorire il successo formativo di ragazzi e giovani con DSA.

2018 - Psychopathological symptoms in Italian children and adolescents with Specific Learning Disorder: What do mothers and fathers report about? [Articolo su rivista]
Scorza, Maristella; Benassi, Erika; Gennaro, Alessandro; Bruganelli, Chiara; Stella, Giacomo.

International literature provides evidence that Specific Learning Disorders (SLD) may be associated with multiple dimensions of psychopathology. In contrast, only a small number of studies have focused on emotional and behavioral problems in Italian children and adolescents with SLD. The Child Behavioral Checklist (CBCL) is a measure of psychopathological symptoms widely-used in the clinical contexts in Italy. We therefore conducted a preliminary study examining mothers’ and fathers’ reports on all of the eight CBCL syndrome subscales. First aim was to examine the mothers’ ratings on CBCL in a group of 22 Italian children and adolescents with SLD (mean age = 12.31, SD = 2.88) and 29 peers without SLD (mean age = 10.96, SD = 2.74). Second, concordances and differences between mothers and fathers of these children on CBCL were investigated. The children and adolescents with SLD obtained significantly higher Internalizing and Externalizing Total Scores, compared to peers without SLD. We discussed the relevance of early identifying Italian children with SLD to early contrast the risk of emotional and behavioral problems in these children. These findings underscore the need for further examination of the mother-father agreement on measures of psychopathological problems.

2017 - Declarative learning of new real-words in primary and secondary school children: Evidence of consolidation over time [Articolo su rivista]
Scorza, Maristella; Benassi, Erika; Boni, Claudia D.; Pinotti, Chiara; Stella, Giacomo

Recent studies found evidence for improvements of declarative memories after a period of offline consolidation. Most of these studies investigated declarative learning using non-words stimuli. Little is known about consolidation effects in the acquisition of phonologically typical real-words in the native-language. The current study compared primary school children with secondary school children in recognition and delayed recall of novel real-words. The delayed recognition and recall tasks were administered both 15 minutes and 24 hours after training. The results revealed high recognition accuracy of the novel real-words after 15-min delay. In contrast, children's recall ability decreased at the first post-training delayed recall but significantly improved when children were re-tested one day later. Better overall performances were observed in secondary school children. The results of our semantic declarative memory task replicate and extend previous findings showing that children's retention of novel semantic-phonological representations is more robust following a period of sleep.

2017 - Perception of specific learning disorders in parents and teachers. A socio-cultural perspective [Articolo su rivista]
Gennaro, Alessandro; Scorza, Maristella; Benassi, Erika; Stella, Giacomo; Salvatore, Sergio

Mainstream perspectives about Specific Learning Disorders (SLD) range between the rehabilitative and psychological understanding of SLD. Few studies have been developed to detect SLD perception in school participants in reference to a cultural standpoint. Adopting a social constructivist perspective, which is part of a cultural framework, the present work aims at detecting the cultural models influencing the perception of SLD in a sample of parents and teachers. A multiple choice survey was administered to primary school parents (n = 1095) and teachers (n = 110), and a subsequent multidimensional analysis procedure - consisting of both Multiple Correspondence and Cluster Analysis - allowed the collection of cluster profiles describing SLD knowledge among the sample. Finally, a Chi-Square analysis investigated the significant differences in SLD perception among parents and teachers, taking into account their experience of SLD. The results offer a breakthrough in the study of SLD perception among school participants and stimulate reflection at both a theoretical and intervention level.

2016 - Age-Related Cortical Thickness Reduction in Non-Demented Down’s Syndrome Subjects [Articolo su rivista]
Romano, Andrea; Cornia, Riccardo; Moraschi, Marta; Bozzao, Alessandro; Chiacchiararelli, Laura; Coppola, Valeria; Iani, Cristina; Stella, Giacomo; Albertini, Giorgio; Pierallini, Alberto

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristic pattern of age-related cortical thinning in patients with Down Syndrome (DS), as assessed by MRI and automatic cortical thickness measurements. METHODS: Ninety-one non-demented subjects with DS (range 11-53 years) were examined using a 1.5 T scanner. MRI-based quantification of cortical thickness was performed using FreeSurfer software package., The Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient between age and mean cortical thickness was evaluated for all subjects participating in the study. RESULTS: A significant negative correlation between cortical thickness and age was found bilaterally in the frontal, temporal, parietal and cingulate gyrus. Specific investigation of cerebral lobes showed a more evident involvement of the frontal one, compared to others. Moreover, the age related reduction of cortical thickness appeared to be more significant and rapid in patients between 20 and 30 years of age. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings showed that Down Syndrome subjects are affected by a diffuse cortical thinning. The involvement of cortical structures can be observed at an earlier age than previous studies have reported.

2016 - The evolution of the reading profile in children with developmental dyslexia in a regular ortographies [Articolo su rivista]
Zonno, Maria Giuseppa Pia; Scorza, Maristella; Morlini, Isabella; Stella, Giacomo

Several researchers have demonstrated that dyslexia develops differently in shallow orthographies in terms of accuracy and speed. In fact, slow reading speed persists and accuracy improves. The aim of this study is to investigate the evolution of the specific reading disorder over the years of compulsory education, from primary to upper secondary school. Furthermore, it has the aim to verify if there are different evolutionary trajectories of reading skills in relation to the severity of the disorder. The study was carried out on 71 Italian dyslexic children, according to the diagnostic criteria established by the diagnostic manual ICD – 10 and the Consensus Conference. Two groups were selected: children who met criteria for mild dyslexia (mild dyslexics, with n=36) and a comparison group of moderate-severe dyslexics (n=35). All participants were tested at least twice in two different school grades. Comparisons were made on the average performances in each school grade. The results reveal similar patterns of growth over time in reading ability, with the mild dyslexics group outperforming the moderate-severe dyslexics group. The performance trajectory for the moderate-severe dyslexics shows some plateaus and a decrease in performances in the last year analyzed (1st upper secondary school) while the trajectory for the mild dyslexics always show increases in performances. All subjects show a steady increase in word and text reading speed and a slower improvement in pseudo-word decoding.

2015 - Age effects on cortical thickness in young Down's syndrome subjects: a cross-sectional gender study. [Articolo su rivista]
Romano, Andrea; Moraschi, Marta; Cornia, Riccardo; Bozzao, Alessandro; Gagliardo, Olga; Chiacchiararelli, Laura; Iani, Cristina; Stella, Giacomo; Albertini, Giorgio; Pierallini, Alberto

INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to determine differences in the characteristic pattern of age-related cortical thinning in men and women with Down's syndrome (DS) by means of MRI and automatic cortical thickness measurements and a cross-sectional design, in a large cohort of young subjects. METHODS: Eighty-four subjects with DS, 30 females (11-35 years, mean age ± SD = 22.8 ± 5.9) and 54 males (11-35 years, mean age ± SD = 21.5 ± 6.5), were examined using a 1.5-T scanner. MRI-based quantification of cortical thickness was performed using FreeSurfer software package. For all subjects participating in the study, the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient between age and mean cortical thickness values has been evaluated. RESULTS: A significant negative correlation between cortical thickness and age was found in female DS subjects, predominantly in frontal and parietal lobes, bilaterally. In male DS subjects, a significant negative correlation between cortical thickness and age was found in the right fronto-temporal lobes and cingulate regions. Whole brain mean cortical thickness values were significantly negative correlated with age only in female DS subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Females with Down's syndrome showed a strong correlation between cortical thickness and age, already in early age. We suggest that the cognitive impairment due to hormonal deficit in the postmenopausal period could be emphasized by the early structural decline of gray matter in female DS subjects.

2015 - Assessing decoding ability: the role of speed and accuracy and a new composite indicator to measure decoding skill in elementary grades [Articolo su rivista]
Morlini, Isabella; Stella, Giacomo; Scorza, Maristella

Tools for assessing decoding skill in students attending elementary grades are of fundamental importance for guaranteeing an early identification of reading disabled students and reducing both the primary negative effects (on learning) and the secondary negative effects (on the development of the personality) of this disability. This article presents results obtained by administering existing standardized tests of reading and a new screening procedure to about 1,500 students in the elementary grades in Italy. It is found that variables measuring speed and accuracy in all administered reading tests are not Gaussian, and therefore the threshold values used for classifying a student as a normal decoder or as an impaired decoder must be estimated on the basis of the empirical distribution of these variables rather than by using the percentiles of the normal distribution. It is also found that the decoding speed and the decoding accuracy can be measured in either a 1-minute procedure or in much longer standardized tests. The screening procedure and the tests administered are found to be equivalent insofar as they carry the same information. Finally, it is found that speed and accuracy act as complementary effects in the measurement of decoding ability. On the basis of this last finding, the study introduces a new composite indicator aimed at determining the student's performance, which combines speed and accuracy in the measurement of decoding ability.

2015 - Clumsiness in fine motor tasks: Evidence from the quantitative drawing evaluation of children with Down Syndrome [Articolo su rivista]
Vimercati, S.L.; Galli, M.; Stella, G.; Caiazzo, G.; Ancillao, A.; Albertini, G.

Introduction: Drawing tests are commonly used for the clinical evaluation of cognitive capabilities in children with learning disabilities. We analysed quantitatively the drawings of children with Down Syndrome (DS) and of healthy, mental age-matched controls to characterise the features of fine motor skills in DS during a drawing task, with particular attention to clumsiness, a well-known feature of DS gross movements. Methods: Twenty-three children with DS and 13 controls hand-copied the figures of a circle, a cross and a square on a sheet. An optoelectronic system allowed the acquisition of the three-dimensional track of the drawing. The participants' posture and upper limb movements were analysed as well. Results: Results showed that the participants with DS tended to draw faster but with less accuracy than controls. Discussion: While clumsiness in gross movements manifests mainly as slow, less efficient movements, it manifests as high velocity and inaccurate movements in fine motor tasks such as drawing. © 2014 MENCAP and International Association of the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

2015 - Decoding automaticity in reading process and practice. How much influence does summer vacation have on children’s reading abilities in primary school? [Articolo su rivista]
Scorza, Maristella; Boni, Claudia Daria; Zanzurino, Giuseppe G.F.; Scortichini, Francesca; Morlini, Isabella; Stella, Giacomo

This research intends to investigate the impact of reading practice on children’s read-aloud abilities during the learning phase. In order to assess the importance of reading practice, the researchers have examined the possible adverse consequences arising from the substantial reduction in exercise during the summer vacation. According to the model adopted, groups of children from grade first to fifth in primary school have been given three different standardized tests (lists of words, pseudo-words and a text), in three distinct times of the year (end of school, beginning of school and two months after that). The available literature on the subject demonstrates that summer vacation can have a detrimental impact on maths computation and orthography whereas the results relating to reading abilities seem to be considerably disparate. The outcomes of this research prove that speed and accuracy parameters are affected differently by both the decrease and the increase in reading practice. All assessed classes have shown a regular increase in reading speed, and the suspension of the learning practice does not seem to have influenced the performance significantly. This improvement in reading speed apparently comes with an increase in the percentage of mistakes made after summer vacation, especially in the first classes. Therefore, the comparison of the provided results might suggest the existence of independent mechanisms lying behind the development and automaticity of the two examined factors.

2015 - Letter chain e word chain. Un nuovo strumento di screening per l’identificazione dei bambini con difficoltà di lettura [Articolo su rivista]
Scorza, Maristella; Boni, Claudia Daria; Scortichini, Francesca; Morlini, Isabella; Stella, Giacomo

Lo strumento ideato da Jacobson (1995), con l’obiettivo di identificare precocemente le difficoltà di lettura all’interno della popolazione svedese, è stato adattato per la lingua italiana. Si tratta di due prove a somministrazione collettiva: una di lettura di lettere (letter chain) e l’altra di lettura di parole (word chain). Al fine di verificare la validità e l’attendibilità del test, sono state proposte a tutto il campione le prove di lettura di parole e non parole tratte dalla DDE-2 (Sartori et al., 1995; 2007) e la lettura di un brano tratto dalla batteria MT (Cornoldi e Colpo, 1995; 1998). I risultati mostrano come, nella prima fase di apprendimento della lettura, i bambini (in particolare quelli di classe prima) individuino più facilmente le lettere (avvalendosi di una strategia di tipo visivo), per poi passare nelle fasi più avanzate della scolarizzazione, e cioè a partire dalla classe terza quando ormai il processo di acquisizione della lettura risulta automatizzato nella maggior parte dei bambini, a una strategia più di tipo lessicale.

2015 - Nuove acquisizioni sui meccanismi dell’apprendimento [Capitolo/Saggio]
Stella, Giacomo; Scorza, Maristella; Boni, Claudia; Scortichini, Francesca

Nonostante gli ostacoli che gli studenti dislessici incontrano durante il proprio percorso scolastico, ostacoli tanto maggiori quanto più tardiva è la diagnosi, la loro presenza nelle università è in continuo aumento. Ciò costituisce senz’altro un segnale positivo, perché è un ulteriore passo in avanti verso la piena realizzazione dei talenti di questi ragazzi, ma c’è ancora molta strada da fare. In questa prospettiva, Giovani adulti con DSA approfondisce alcune aree tematiche particolarmente rilevanti, illustrando le principali indicazioni normative ministeriali e regionali e l’iter diagnostico nei giovani adulti, descrivendo gli aspetti psicologici coinvolti e gli strumenti didattici più idonei ed efficaci per i DSA. Adottando una visione multidimensionale delle problematiche coinvolte, l’opera fornisce una base di conoscenze e di riferimenti pratici per gli operatori del settore — psicologi, medici, insegnanti, pedagogisti, educatori — e per le persone adulte con DSA, i loro familiari e amici.

2015 - Silent reading fluency: Implications for the assessment of adults with developmental dyslexia. [Articolo su rivista]
Gagliano, Antonella; Ciuffo, Massimo; Ingrassia, Massimo; Ghidoni, Enrico; Angelini, Damiano; Benedetto, Loredana; Germano, Eva; Stella, Giacomo.

Introduction: Understanding silent reading fluency (SRF) is of a paramount importance, given that silent reading is the principal manner of reading for capable readers. But the assessment of SRF is not commonly useful for identifying students with reading difficulties and monitoring their progress. The paper presents the SRF scores of adults with dyslexia compared to SRF scores of skilled readers and discusses the power of the SRF measure in identifying adults with specific learning disorders with impairment in reading. Method: Participants recruited were 68 dyslexic and age-matched skilled adult readers (18-48 years old). Among them, 24 were skilled readers with a university degree (GRS), 22 were skilled readers with a high school diploma (DSR), and 22 participants had been diagnosed with dyslexia (DR). We used a standardized oral reading fluency (ORF) test and an original SRF task to measure the reading fluency. Results: All participants increased their reading fluency in silent mode (p < .001). Nonetheless, the average speed of the oral reading was 7.19 syllables per second (syl/s) for the GSR group, 7.11 syl/s for the DSR group, and 4.95 syl/s for the DR group. The average speed of the silent reading was 11.62 syl/s and 10.75 syl/s for GSR and DSR, respectively, and 6.15 syl/s for DR. The reading fluency differential (Delta f) between ORF and SRF was significantly different among the dyslexic participants and the other two groups. Conclusions: Our results strongly suggest that dyslexic readers are less capable of significantly improve their reading speed when they read silently. Thus SRF could be considered a suitable parameter for identifying older students and adults with impairment in reading. A broader investigation of the issues surrounding silent reading is needed.

2015 - The European battery for reading assessment: Interlingual comparative study of reading abilities [Articolo su rivista]
Scortichini, Francesca; Gasperini, Chiara; Scorza, Maristella; Boni, Claudia Daria; Stella, Giacomo

School and health operators have to deal more and more with bilingual children with learning disorders. The European Battery for Reading Assessment project aims to adapt the IReST battery to design a standardised assessment suitable for measuring a child’s reading performances during his/her developmental age. This tool could be used with bilingual and multilingual children, for both clinical and educational purposes. We tested the battery on 370 Italian children attending the second cycle of primary school and the lower secondary school. The tool for this analysis has to maintain the linguistic complexity of each language and we have decided to use the International Reading Speed Test. The texts are equivalent in all languages (17 idioms). In the same time, all the subjects of our sample were evaluated using a list of single words and a list of pseudo-words to read aloud and a reading test. The results seem to confirm that the battery can also be employed in the evolutionary developmental field. © 2015, Giunti O.S. Organizzazioni Speciali. All rights reserved.

2015 - The role of the working memory in the early phases of learning to read [Articolo su rivista]
Arina, Sonia; Gathercole, Susan ; Stella, Giacomo

Several studies have revealed that the working memory and its components are involved in the process of learning to read and Baddeley’s model (1986) best grasps this process as a whole. The first aim of this study is to carry out a longitudinal study on typical developed children, in order to assess the temporal evolution of the working memory process in relation to the transcoding process. The second purpose of this study is to compare the development of typical working memory process in children speaking two different languages characterized by different orthographic consistency. Methods. 134 children, 93 Italian and 41 English, are evaluated twice through a test battery during a 12 months period. The effects of gender and age are assessed on each variable of the test. The ANOVA test is used to assess notable discrepancies between sub-groups of children and a series of distinct correlation and regression analyses are carried out on both samples in the two administration times in order to assess the relation between working memory and decoding functions in both lexical and sub-lexical components. The Italian sample, in the preschool phase, shows that the decoding abilities particularly activates the short-term visuospatial component and only in minor part the verbal elements. During the first learning phases, instead, the verbal parts prevail on the visuospatial ones. In the English sample, during the preschool phase, the phonological decoding seems to be predicted by the short-term verbal memory, whereas the direct lexical access by the visuospatial memory ability. Instead, during the first learning phases, the English children show to employ more visuospatial resources in phonological decoding and more cognitive resources in lexical access. Pupils reading in English employ mainly logographic strategies in word recognition, whereas Italian children seem to principally adopt serial decoding strategies. This research proves that a developmental modification of the working memory system, consonantly with the native language, occurs after the beginning of an intentional and regular exposure to education. Moreover it is proved that various systems participate in the acquisition of the reading abilities, depending on the developmental stage.

2014 - A new procedure to measure children's reading speed and accuracy in Italian [Articolo su rivista]
I. Morlini; G. Stella; M. Scorza

Impaired readers in primary school should be early recognized, in order to asses a targeted intervention within the school and to start a teaching that respects the difficulties in learning to read, to write and to perform calculations. Screening procedures inside the primary schools aimed at detecting children with difficulties in reading, are of fundamental importance for guaranteeing an early identification of dyslexic children and reducing both the primary negative effects - on learning - and the secondary negative effects - on the development of the personality - of this disturbance. In this study we propose a new screening procedure measuring reading speed and accuracy. This procedure is very fast (it is exactly one minute long), simple, cheap and can be provided by teachers without technical knowledge. On the contrary, most of the currently used diagnostic tests, are about 10 minutes long and must be provided by experts. These two major flaws prevent the widespread use of these tests. On the basis of the results obtained in a survey on about 1500 students attending primary school in Italy, we investigate the relationships between variables used in the screening procedure and variables measuring speed and accuracy in the currently used diagnostic tests in Italy. Then, we analyze the validity of the screening procedure from a statistical point of view and with an explorative factor analysis we show that reading speed and accuracy seem to be two separate symptoms of the dyslexia phenomenon.

2014 - An analysis of perception through the narrative of the self in students of primary school with dyslexia [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Fulgeri, Gian Marco; Scortichini, Francesca; Scorza, Maristella; Stella, Giacomo

This research focuses on the mechanisms of Self-construction through the narrative creation of Self. The purpose is to evaluate the perception of reality and the elaboration of self in people with dyslexia. In fact, the functional difficulties of reading and writing due to Specific developmental disorders of scholastic skills may generate two main “steps” of re-elaboration of personal Identity: pre- and post-diagnosis. The diagnosis creates a “turning point” in the elaboration of their own identity and a redefinition of difficulties. However, these processes do not always lead to a proper individual or social adaptation. Within the investigation we have been used several tests for the evaluation of personality traits and emotional and affective aspects (in press). It was also used as a main instrument the narrative of the self and from an “open-interview” we developed a multiple choice questionnaire for the analysis of different aspects of personal identity (Fulgeri, 2012) During the analysys it appears that the perception seems to be regulated by three main aspects: 1) Understanding: regarding the meaning attributed to the object; 2) Acceptance: concerning the adaptation with the object to one’s personality, or its cohabitation; 3) Psychological Compensation: inherent in the structure that the object has is in the subject’s life. This aspect is also inherent in the processing of the personal future and the sense of self-efficacy. This analysis can be used for any object of our perception, both external and internal. Therefore, the primary aim of this research was aimed at investigating the perception that each person with dyslexia has about its own difficulties in reading and writing. In addition to functional deficits there are several other factors - both internal and external – which help to create a perception of reading and writing difficulties which do not always coincide with their objective difficulties detected by neuropsychological assessment. This perception is also important for the definition of compensatory measures in school, the sense of self-efficacy and self-definition in social, family and school context. Another aspect was to investigate which elements of uneasiness could be an obstacle to a correct processing of personal identity and appropriate social inclusion in subjects with dyslexia.

2014 - Il bambino bilingue con difficoltà di apprendimento della letto-scrittura: è sempre corretto parlare di DSA? [Capitolo/Saggio]
Scortichini, Francesca; Stella, Giacomo; Fulgeri, Gian Marco; Zanzurino, Giuseppe; Scorza, Maristella

I Disturbi Specifici dell’Apprendimento sono da tempo oggetto di studio in ambito sia clinico che di ricerca; tuttavia, nonostante abbiano trovato una precisa collocazione negli schemi di classificazione ICF, permane una forte disomogeneità, nei vari contesti nazionali, circa l’approccio specifico all’analisi, alla diagnosi e al trattamento. Il volume intende a questo scopo promuovere un dialogo interdisciplinare, che accanto ai contributi della neuropsichiatria, della neuropsicologia, della psicologia e della logopedia tenga conto anche dell’apporto, fondamentale, delle scienze del linguaggio. Dalla definizione del quadro normativo ai rapporti tra lingua orale e lingua scritta, dalle difficoltà di diagnosi nei contesti bilingui a variegate proposte operative e didattiche da attuare in classe per potenziare l’apprendimento delle lingue e le abilità di lettura, Dislessia e apprendimento delle lingue offre a insegnanti, alunni e genitori spunti e strumenti per comprendere meglio la dislessia, ai fini della diagnosi e degli interventi educativi che i DSA richiedono.

2014 - Linee guida per la diagnosi dei profili di dislessia e disortografia previsti dalla legge 170. Contributo alla discussione [Articolo su rivista]
Stella, Giacomo

[No abstract available]

2014 - Response inhibition and adaptations to response conflict in 6-to 8-year-old children: Evidence from the Simon effect [Articolo su rivista]
C. Iani; G. Stella; S. Rubichi

Several studies have shown that the Simon effect, which is the advantage of spatial correspondence between stimulus and response locations when the stimulus location is task-irrelevant, decreases with increasing response times and is affected by preceding-trial correspondence. These mod- ulations suggest the existence of control mechanisms that adapt our behavior to current goals by responding to the conflict experienced within a trial and by preventing the recurrence of a conflict in the subsequent trial. The aim of the present study was to assess whether these control mecha- nisms, which are well consolidated in adults and in children older than 8 years of age, are present in children between 6 and 8 years old. To this end, we tested 32 first-grade (6–7 years) and 34 second-grade (7–8 years) children on a Simon task in which correspondence sequence was manipulated on a trial- by-trial basis. The Simon effect was larger for first- than for second-graders and decreased with increasing response times only in second-graders. Crucially, for both groups, the effect was reduced when the preceding trial was noncorresponding, and the reductions were comparable for the two groups, indicating that trial-by-trial control mechanisms are already present in first-grade children and may be dissociated from within-trial control adjustments.

2014 - Some experimental results on the role of speed and accuracy of reading in psychometric tests. [Capitolo/Saggio]
Morlini I.; Stella G.; Scorza M.

According to the Italian Parliament act (n. 170/2010) that recognizesdyslexia as a physical disturbance, of neurobiological origin, dyslexic children in primary school should be early recognized, in order to asses a targeted intervention within the school and to start a teaching that respects the difficulties in learning to read, to write and to perform calculations. Screening procedures inside the primaryschools aimed at detecting children with difficulties in reading, are not so common in Italy as in other European countries. Nevertheless, screening procedures are of fundamental importance for guaranteeing an early detection of dyslexic children and reducing both the primary negative effects - on learning - and the secondary negative effects - on the development of the personality - of this disturbance. In thisstudy we analyze the validity, from a statistical point of view, of a screening procedure recently proposed in the psychometric literature (Stella et al., 2011). This procedure is very fast (it is exactly one minute long), simple, cheap and can be dispensed by teachers without psychometric experience. On the contrary, the currentlyused tests are much longer and must be provided by skilled teachers. These two major flaw prevent the widespread use of these tests. If the new procedure is found to be reliable, it can be provided to each student in primary school and it can also be repeated in time, in order to monitor the children difficulties. The validity of the procedure and the benchmark with two currently used tests are studied on the thebasis of the results of a survey on about 1500 students attending primary school.

2014 - Una valutazione europea per la dislessia. Tra desideri e necessità [Capitolo/Saggio]
Fulgeri, Gian Marco; Stella, Giacomo; Ghidoni, Enrico; Scortichini, Francesca; Scorza, Maristella

I Disturbi Specifici dell’Apprendimento sono da tempo oggetto di studio in ambito sia clinico che di ricerca; tuttavia, nonostante abbiano trovato una precisa collocazione negli schemi di classificazione ICF, permane una forte disomogeneità, nei vari contesti nazionali, circa l’approccio specifico all’analisi, alla diagnosi e al trattamento. Il volume intende a questo scopo promuovere un dialogo interdisciplinare, che accanto ai contributi della neuropsichiatria, della neuropsicologia, della psicologia e della logopedia tenga conto anche dell’apporto, fondamentale, delle scienze del linguaggio. Dalla definizione del quadro normativo ai rapporti tra lingua orale e lingua scritta, dalle difficoltà di diagnosi nei contesti bilingui a variegate proposte operative e didattiche da attuare in classe per potenziare l’apprendimento delle lingue e le abilità di lettura, Dislessia e apprendimento delle lingue offre a insegnanti, alunni e genitori spunti e strumenti per comprendere meglio la dislessia, ai fini della diagnosi e degli interventi educativi che i DSA richiedono.

2013 - Dallo screening alla riabilitazione dei disturbi specifici dell'apprendimento: una prospettiva di integrazione di studi neuropsicologici e comportamentali. [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Scortichini, Francesca; Scorza, Maristella; Stella, Giacomo

L'incidenza dei disturbi specifici dell'apprendimento (DSA) in età evolutiva è stimata essere compresa tra il 2,5 e il 3,5 % (Consensus Conference, 2010), mentre quella delle più generiche difficoltà di apprendimento (di natura ambientale e non endogena) sono stimate da Cornoldi (1999) intorno al 20% della popolazione scolastica. Numerosi studi hanno analizzato l'efficacia delle tecnologie didattiche basate sulla fluenza (Binder, 1996; Johnson e Layng, 1992; Kubina e Morris, 2000), sottolineandone inoltre le ripercussioni positive a livello delle competenze apprese, espresse attraverso l'acronimo REAPS (retention, endurance, application performance standards) ovvero: il mantenimento nel tempo degli apprendimenti, la capacità di applicare tali competenze per periodi di tempo prolungati e la maggiore facilità di acquisizione di nuove competenze sovraordinate. Le metodologie afferenti a questo filone si caratterizzano per la scomposizione di compiti complessi in sotto-unità corrispondenti alle abilità prerequisite, hanno come obiettivo comune il raggiungimento della fluenza (ovvero di accuratezza associata a velocità di esecuzione) e misurano le prestazioni riportandole su grafici che rappresentano gli apprendimenti al fine di poter prendere decisioni educative basate sui dati (Hughes, Beverly, Whitehead, 2007). Viene inizialmente presentato un protocollo di screening delle difficoltà di lettura, seguito da 3 interventi volti a mostrare l'applicazione della didattica basata sulla fluenza alle abilità strumentali di lettura e scrittura; il successivo lavoro offre invece spunti rispetto all'applicazione del metodo ad abilità più complesse quali lo svolgimento dei compiti.

2013 - La conoscenza delle tabelline [Capitolo/Saggio]
Scorza, Maristella; Zanzurino, Giuseppe; Scortichini, Francesca; Stella, Giacomo

Indagini recenti indicano come oggi in Italia sia crescente il numero degli studenti di ogni ordine e grado scolastico che incontrano problemi nell’apprendimento del sistema dei numeri, manifestando difficoltà relative a: riconoscimento e denominazione dei simboli numerici, scrittura dei numeri, associazione del simbolo numerico alla quantità corrispondente, numerazione in ordine crescente e decrescente, risoluzione di situazioni problematiche, sintomatiche della discalculia. Il volume raccoglie i contributi dei maggiori esperti in tale ambito, partendo da una precisa definizione del disturbo per poi soffermarsi in particolare sulla sua ricaduta nei soggetti adulti. Lo scopo del libro è infatti aiutare gli insegnanti, gli educatori, i professionisti e i familiari ad acquisire una migliore conoscenza della discalculia, offrendo una serie di suggerimenti e indicazioni che consentano a chi ne è affetto di migliorare la propria performance. Attraverso una didattica attenta ai bisogni educativi degli alunni discalculici è, infatti, possibile compiere progressi e raggiungere livelli soddisfacenti di competenza numerica e di calcolo sino ai più elevati gradi di istruzione.

2013 - Pappagallo Lalla [Software]
Stella, Giacomo; Burani, Cristina; Gallo, Daniela; Morlini, Isabella

CD per l'identificazione precoce di difficoltà fonologiche e laboratori per lo sviluppo linguistico da 3 a 5 anni

2013 - disturbi specifici del linguaggio e dell'apprendimento [Capitolo/Saggio]
Stella, Giacomo

Vengono trattati i disturbi specifici del linguaggio e il loro rapporto con i disturbi dell'apprendimento scolastico.

2012 - Attività di potenziamento della letto-scrittura di tipo lessicale nei bambini con Disturbo Specifico dell'Apprendimento [Capitolo/Saggio]
Scortichini, Francesca; Stella, Giacomo; Scorza, Maristella; Zanzurino, Giuseppe

Una società a misura di apprendimento richiede che formazione e educazione sappiano generare capitale umano e sociale, nella consapevolezza che i contesti e i modi di vita e di relazione sono tramite di ben-essere o di mal-essere, durante l'intero percorso della vita, nelle differenti fasi lavorative e personali. Apprendimento e comunicazione educativa richiedono la continua ricerca e messa a punto di nuovi contesti e metodologie, ambienti e strumenti per l'educazione affinché tutti, "non uno di meno" siano coinvolti nel processo di educazione e formazione. Il volume, che raccoglie larga parte degli interventi presentati all'omonimo convegno internazionale, affronta tale tematica da diverse prospettive disciplinari avvalendosi, tra gli altri, dei contributi di Franco Frabboni, Aureliana Alberici, Wilhelm Filla, Paolo Di Rienzo, Andrea Waxenegger, Paolo Somigli. Il testo si propone come strumento di approfondimento e discussione ad esperti del settore e a chi voglia conoscere e riflettere sulle potenzialità di una formazione per tutta la vita.

2012 - Cortical sources of resting state EEG rhythms are abnormal in dyslexic children [Articolo su rivista]
Babiloni, Claudio; Stella, Giacomo; Buffo, Paola; Vecchio, Fabrizio; Onorati, Paolo; Muratori, Chiara; Miano, Silvia; Gheller, Flavia; Antonaci, Laura; Albertini, Giorgio; Rossini, Paolo M.

Objective: Previous studies have been inconclusive whether dominant resting state alpha rhythms differ in amplitude in dyslexic subjects when compared to control subjects, being these rhythms considered as a reflection of effective cortical neural synchronization and cognition. Here we used a validated EEG source estimation to test the hypothesis that resting state alpha rhythms are abnormal in dyslexic subjects and are related to reading deficits. Methods: Eyes-closed resting state electroencephalographic (EEG) data were recorded in 26 dyslexics (12 males, mean age of 11 years +/- 0.5 standard error of mean, SEM) and 11 age-matched normal control subjects (8 males, mean age of 11 years +/- 0.7 SEM). EEG rhythms of interest, based on individual alpha frequency peak, were the following: about 2-4 Hz (delta), 4-6 Hz (theta), 6-8 Hz (alpha 1), 8-10 Hz (alpha 2), and 10-12 Hz (alpha 3). For the higher frequencies, we selected beta 1 (13-20 Hz), beta 2 (20-30 Hz), and gamma (30-40 Hz). Cortical EEG sources were estimated by low resolution electromagnetic tomography (LORETA). LORETA solutions were normalized across all voxels and frequencies. Results: Compared to the control children, the dyslexics showed lower amplitude of parietal, occipital, and temporal alpha 2 and alpha 3 sources. In the dyslexics, some of these sources were correlated to reading time of pseudo-words (parietal alpha 2, r = -0.56, p = 0.02; parietal alpha 3, r = -0.58, p = 0.02; temporal alpha 3, r = -0.57, p = 0.02); the higher the alpha power, the shorter the reading time. Conclusions: Dyslexic children are characterized by limited abnormalities of resting state EEG rhythms as to topography (posterior regions) and frequency (alpha), which were related to phonological encoding (pseudo-words reading). Significance: Dyslexia may be associated to some functional impairment of cortical neuronal synchronization mechanisms involved in the resting state condition. (C) 2012 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

2012 - Il TRPS: nuovi indici psicometrici e predittività dello strumento per lo screening precoce di lettura [Articolo su rivista]
G. Zanzurino; G. Stella; I. Morlini; M. Scorza; F. Scortichini

All'ingresso della scuola primaria i bambini presentano un'elevata eterogeneità nello sviluppo, dovuta a differenti livelli di maturazione cognitiva e linguistica. Tale variabilità rende molto difficile differenziare un disturbo di apprendimento da un semplice ritardo di maturazion. Nella ricerca vengono presentati una nuova standardizzazione e nuovi indici psicometrici del test TRPS per il rilevamento di difficoltà di lettura nelle classi prima e seconda della scuola primaria. I risultati, pur confermando alcuni limiti dello strumento TRPS, ne rilevano le potenzialità predittive, soprattutto nelle prime fasi d'acquisizione e nelle condizioni particolarmente severe del disturbo di lettura.

2012 - La diagnosi di Dislessia e Disortografia Evolutiva nei bambini bilingui (L2). Evidenze sul ruolo del lessico [Articolo su rivista]
F.G. Giuseppe Zanzurino; Francesca Scortichini; Giacomo Stella; Isabella Morlini; Maristella Scorza

La ricerca presentata pone dei quesiti in merito agli strumenti e ai criteri diagnostici utilizzati per la diagnosi di DSA nei bambini bilingui, riflettendo sulle modalità più utili per discernere le questioni educative (ad esempio, presenza di bambini con una limitata conoscenza della lingua italiana) da quelle di effettivo disturbo, per non correre il rischio di applicare etichette neuropatologiche a situazioni che, invece, patologiche non sono. I risultati della ricerca evidenziano che i bambini bilingui possono essere penalizzati se vengono valutati attraverso prove di tipo lessicale tarate su un campione italiano ma, nello stesso tempo, sembrano offrire anche una via alternativa per far diminuire il rischio di diagnosticare falsi positivi.

2012 - La diagnosi di dislessia e disortografia evolutiva nei bambini bilingui (L2) [Articolo su rivista]
F. Scortichini; G. Stella; I. Morlini; G. Zanzurino; M. Scorza

La ricerca presentata pone dei quesiti in merito agli strumenti e ai criteri diagnostici utilizzati per la diagnosi di DSA nei bambini bilingui, riflettendo sulle modalità più utili per discernere le questioni educative da quelle di effettivo disturbo, per non correre il rischio di applicare etichette neuropatologiche a situazioni che, invece, patologiche non sono. I risultati della ricerca evidenziano che i bambini bilingui possono essere penalizzati se vengono valutati attraverso prove di tipo lessicale tarate su un campione italiano.

2012 - SPILLO: un nuovo strumento per l’identificazione della lentezza nella lettura orale [Articolo su rivista]
Scorza M.; Stella G.; Morlini I.;

The act of Parliament n. 170 (approved the 8th October 2010), on «the newstatutory law for learning disorders affecting the scholastic population» states thatdyslexia is a neurobiologically based dysfunction, which makes learning to read, to write and to perform calculations for intelligent children who do not have any othertypes of disorder, very difficult. According to this act, those who teach a dyslexicchild in school should respect the pace and the learning styles of the individual andshould include a system of assessment that takes into account the different skillareas of student. The early detection of children in primary school becomes of fundamentalimportance. Procedures for recognizing dyslexic children are based on readingperformance. In this paper a new screening is presented. Its new features are thetime saving (it is exactly one minute long), cheap and very easy to implement.If this screening procedure is found to be reliable, it can be provided to allstudents by the teachers, since it does not require skilled people. The new test wasadministred to 1500 primary school students to obtain standard measures. Reliabilityof the new screening task was tested matching results with performances of thesame subjects on two standardized reading test. This study allows us to define thethreshold values in the variables used in the new screening procedure and to discussthevalidity of the threshold values currently used in the variables of the benchmarktests.

2011 - A new approach for the quantitative evaluation of drawings in children with learning disabilities. [Articolo su rivista]
M. Galli ; S: L. Vimercati; G. Stella; G. Caiazzo; F. Norveti; F. Onnis; C. Rigoldi; G. Albertini.

A new method for a quantitative and objective description of drawing and for the quantification of drawing ability in children with learning disabilities (LD) is hereby presented. Twenty-four normally developing children (N) (age 10.6 ± 0.5) and 18 children with learning disabilities (LD) (age 10.3 ± 2.4) took part to the study. The drawing tasks were chosen among those already used in clinical daily experience (Denver Developmental Screening Test). Some parameters were defined in order to quantitatively describe the features of the children's drawings, introducing new objective measurements beside the subjective standard clinical evaluation. The experimental set-up revealed to be valid for clinical application with LD children. The parameters highlighted the presence of differences in the drawing features of N and LD children. This paper suggests the applicability of this protocol to other fields of motor and cognitive valuation, as well as the possibility to study the upper limbs position and muscle activation during drawing.

2011 - Dépistage et remédiation scolaire des troubles spécifiques d’apprentissage: l’expérience de l’Italie [Articolo su rivista]
Stella, Giacomo; Zanzurino, G.

Après avoir présenté l'importance d'une détection précoce des difficultés d'apprentissage de l'écrit, suivi d'une intervention précoce d'« entraînement» au cours de la première année scolaire, les auteurs en montrent aussi les difficultés: risques de faux positifs ou de faux négatifs. Ils décrivent ensuite les différentes expériences poursuivies en Italie. Stella et Apolito (2004), utilisent un test de production de l'écrit collectif de 16 mots fin janvier, après 20 semaines d'enseignement. En mai les enfants passent non seulement un test collectif de production de l'écrit, mais aussi un test individuel de lecture. Les auteurs constatent que le test passé fin janvier se révèle avoir une valeur prédictive d'enfants à risque de TSA. Paoletti et Stella (2008) instaurent un entraînement ciblé des élèves en difficulté découverts au test de janvier. Les enfants sont pris en petits groupes de 2 ou 3 pendant 45 minutes, 3 fois par semaine jusqu'au mois de mai. Durant ce mois un test écrit collectif, la dictée de 16 mots et un test individuel de lecture leurs sont proposés. Dans cette expérience une analyse qualitative des erreurs est introduite parallèlement à l'analyse quantitative. Le projet APRICO introduit en 2006, s'adresse à un nombre grandissant d'élèves. Il introduit l'informatisation de la passation des tests ainsi que l'usage d'un logiciel d'entraînement des aptitudes en lecture et écriture Ottovolante, adaptable aux compétences réelles de chaque enfant. En conclusion, les auteurs soulignent l'importance de ce dépistage et de cet entraînement précoce, bénéfique non seulement pour les élèves à risque de TSA mais aussi pour ceux qui présentent un simple retard et d'un grand intérêt pour les enseignants qui en explique le succès grandissant en Italie. Actuellement plus de 50 000 enfants du cours préparatoire ― première année scolaire - en bénéficient chaaue année.

2011 - Identificazione precoce a rischio DSA e efficacia di un intervento abilitativo metafonologico [Articolo su rivista]
S. Fransceschi; E. Savelli; G. Stella

il lavoro propone un modello di intervento per l'individuazione e la prevenzione precoce dei DSA in prima classe primaria. I risultati consentono di confermare che un training abilitatativo di tipo metafonologico consente di produrre un cambiamento "clinicamente significativo" in circa il 65% dei bambini con difficoltà di apprendimento della scrittura

2011 - SPILLO Strumento per l'identificazione della lentezza nella lettura orale [Software]
Stella, Giacomo; Scorza, Maristella; Morlini, Isabella

SPILLO è un software che consente di verificare in 1 minuto le abilità di lettura dei bambini della scuola primaria (dalla prima alla quinta) tramite una procedura informatizzata che restituiisce immediatamente i risultati

2011 - Training lessicale nella Dislessia e Disortografia Evolutiva : analisi dell’efficacia di 2 nuovi trattamenti per il potenziamento della letto-scrittura [Articolo su rivista]
F. Scortichini ; G. Stella; I. Morlini

L’articolo presenta l’analisi di efficacia di due nuovi trattamenti di tipo lessicale per la Disortografia e la Dislessia Evolutiva. I programmi di potenziamento proposti, sono costituiti da un insieme di brani estratti da libri per la scuola primaria di primo grado ed ordinati rispettando principalmente la loro complessità sintattico-grammaticale (Indice di Gulpease).Lo studio ha coinvolto 53 soggetti frequentanti dal terzo anno della scuola primaria al secondo anno della scuola secondaria di primo grado con diagnosi di Disturbo Specifico dell’Apprendimento (dislessia e/o disortografia). La ricerca mostra un significativo miglioramento delle abilità sottoposte a training (lettura e/o scrittura) alle prove di valutazione utilizzate: lettura e/o scrittura di parole, non parole e testo.

2011 - il trattamento sub lessicale nei bambini con dislessia evolutiva [Articolo su rivista]
G. Stella; M. Badaracco; L. Cervetto; A. Romeo

Con questo lavoro abbiamo voluto aggiungere un nostro contributo alle ricerche che, negli ultimi anni, si sono occupate di fornire informazioni importanti relative all’esito di approcci diversi per il recupero delle difficoltà di lettura (accuratezza e velocità) di soggetti italiani con diagnosi di Dislessia Evolutiva. In particolare, abbiamo analizzato l’efficacia e l’efficienza di un Trattamento Sublessicale, attraverso l’utilizzo del software “Sillabe” implementato dalla Cooperativa Anastasis di Bologna, tenendo conto sia di criteri quantitativi sia di criteri qualitativi di significatività clinica.La volontà di approfondire questa tematica così controversa è maturata all’interno della nostra esperienza clinica quotidiana e nasce dal riconoscimento della necessità di rendere sempre più trasparenti, misurabili e replicabili i risultati ottenuti con il trattamento riabilitativo. La condivisione di approcci e tecniche rivelatesi efficaci ci appare come l’unica strada percorribile per affinare sempre più le proposte terapeutiche, all’interno di un approccio globale che sappia coniugare il profilo di funzionamento neuropsicologico e la sfera emotivo–relazionale del soggetto.

2010 - La dislessia evolutiva lungo l’arco della scolarità obbligatoria [Capitolo/Saggio]
G. Stella; E. Savelli; M. Scorza; I. Morlini

La nostra ricerca vuole aggiornare i risultati ottenuti nel precedente studio (Stella & Cerruti Biondino 2002).Le conclusioni presentate in quel lavoro sulla base dei dati raccolti possono essere così riassunte:• L’evoluzione della lettura nei dislessici italiani nel corso dei 7 anni che intercorrono fra la 2a elementare e la 3a media inferiore risulta migliore per la variabile accuratezza rispetto alla velocità, che evolve molto più lentamente. • La velocità sembra essere la variabile prognostica più attendibile per prevedere la successiva evoluzione delle capacità di lettura.• Sulla base della velocità di decodifica è possibile attribuire un gradiente di severità e identificare due sottogruppi di dislessici che sono stati definiti lievi e severi. • La possibilità di discriminare fra lievi e severi sembra possibile a partire dalla 3a elementare, in quanto precedentemente la bassa variabilità dei valori non consente di discriminare fra lievi e severi.• L’attribuzione del sottotipo lieve-severo in 3a elementare rimane stabile nel corso degli anni fino alla 3a media inferiore, indipendentemente dagli interventi di rieducazione effettuati.• I valori della rapidità rilevati in 3a elementare sembrano costituire un indice di predittività in grado di stabilire con sufficiente affidabilità se un dislessico da adulto sarà un dislessico compensato o persistente.

2010 - Memoria di lavoro e Apprendimento della lettura. Ruolo dell’ortografia nelle lingue a diversa consistenza [Articolo su rivista]
Arina S.; Stella G.

Viene analizzata la relazione tra Working Memory e apprendimento della lettura, confrontando le ipotesi della size grain ortography tra i due sistemi italiano e inglese. la presentazione ortografica delle unità linguistiche in relazione al sistema di scrittura può selezionare come elemento costitutivo il fonema la sillaba o il morfema.

2010 - Real word repetition as predictor of grammatical competence in Italian children with typical language development [Articolo su rivista]
Dispaldro M.; Benelli B.; Marcolini S.; Stella G.;

The definite articles, the 3rd person of direct object clitic pronouns and the 3rd person inflection in the present tense are clinical markers in the Italian language (Bortolini, Arfé et al. 2006; Bortolini, Caselli et al. 2002; Dispaldro, Caselli et al., 2008). These reasons lead us to study the processe involved in morphological acquisition.Through different experiments, the aim of the present work is to investigate the production and comprehension of grammatical morphemes in children with typical language development, in the first fases of grammatical acquisition, at the preschool level (aged between 3 and 4 years).

2009 - Disturbi associati nella dislessia evolutiva: uno studio preliminare. [Articolo su rivista]
G.Stella; S. Franceschi; E. Savelli

In questo studio di indagine retrospettiva vengono presentati i dati preliminari relativi all’associazione dei diversi disturbi delle abilità scolastiche (disortografia, disgrafia, discalculia) e dell’organizzazione neuropsicologica (disturbo del linguaggio, disturbo della coordinazione motoria, difficoltà di attenzione) in un campione di 92 soggetti con diagnosi di disturbo specifico di lettura afferiti al Centro di Neuropsicologia Clinica dell’Età Evolutiva di Pesaro nell’arco di 3 anni (2003-2006). L’obiettivo primario è quello di contribuire a migliorare la comprensione della comorbidità tra i diversi disturbi dello sviluppo in soggetti che evidenziano un’alterazione funzionale dei processi di lettura.

2009 - Morfologia grammaticale in bambini di 2 anni e mezzo e 3 anni. [Articolo su rivista]
Dispaldro M.; Caselli MC.; Stella G.

Il presente studio esplora le produzioni degli articoli determinativi, dei pronomi clitici oggetto e della 3ª persona dell'indicativo presente. Alla ricerca hanno partecipato 78 bambini di lingua italiana suddivisi in due gruppi di età: 2;6 e 3 anni. I risultati mostrano che nessuna categoria grammaticale è acquisita ed i pronomi clitici non vengono prodotti a 2;6 anni. In accordo con la letteratura, è stata confermata una maggiore produzione dei morfemi singolari rispetto ai plurali; la morfologia verbale ha produzioni più elevate rispetto alla morfologia libera. Inoltre i risultati hanno confermato gli errori di omissione negli articoli determinativi e nei pronomi clitici e di sostituzione nei verbi.

2009 - Processamento visivo e fonologico nelle prime fasi di apprendimento della lettura. [Articolo su rivista]
G. Zanzurino; G. Stella

Numerosi studi di tipo cross-linguistico hanno indagato il ruolo e l’incidenza dei fattori ortografici nell’apprendimento della lettura in diversi paesi europei. I risultati di questi studi attestano un vantaggio, sia in termini di velocità che di accuratezza, nell’acquisizione della lettura in paesi con ortografie trasparenti rispetto a paesi con ortografia più profonda o opaca. Alla base di queste differenze risiederebbe un diverso sviluppo dei processi di decodifica che sarebbero facilitati o limitati, a seconda della presenza più o meno elevata di relazioni sistematiche tra grafemi e fonemi. I risultati del nostro studio, in linea con le principali ricerche cross-linguistiche condotte in Europa, confermano la facilità e velocità con cui si sviluppano i processi di riconoscimento e decodifica di lettere in una lingua a ortografia trasparente come l’italiano.

2008 - Real-word repetition as a predictor of grammatical competence in Italian children with typical language development [Articolo su rivista]
M Dispaldro; B. Benelli; S. Marcolini; G. Stella

Background: Non-word repetition in children is a skill related to, but separable from grammatical ability. Lexical skill may bridge the gap between these two abilities. Aims: The main aim was to determine whether real-word-repetition tasks could be better as predictors of grammatical ability than non-word-repetition tasks in children with typical language. This proposal was pursued because lexical knowledge was assumed to make performance in repetition tasks more representative of other language abilities, whereas non-word-repetition tasks are heavily influenced by phonological short-term memory. Methods & Procedures: In order to investigate this possibility, three repetition tasks (two real-word lists characterized by different lexical knowledge and one non-word list), were compared in three groups of three- to four-year-olds with typical language (42 children). Grammatical ability was tested through probes for third-person plural inflection and direct-object clitic use. Outcomes & Results: Real words were repeated more accurately than non-words and the non-words were more sensitive to Syllable length than real words. Performance on all repetition tasks was correlated with grammatical ability, but real words predicted variance in grammatical ability to a greater extent than non-words. Conclusions & Implications: Given the lexical information contained in real words, repetition of such words was a better predictor of grammatical ability than non-word repetition. Future research should replicate and extend these results. Tasks using real words may also have considerable clinical potential; for this reason, these tasks might also be included in studies of children with language impairment.

2008 - T-ilsessia: riabilitazione a distanza [Articolo su rivista]
G. Stella; S. Arina; A. Conti

lavoro sulla rieducazione con la TV digitale nel corso della prima acquisizione della lettura.

2007 - Indagine e rilevazione sulle abilità di lettura nelle scuola secondarie di secondo grado [Articolo su rivista]

Standardizzazione dei valori di lettura di parole, non parole e testo per le scuole medie superiori.

2007 - Neuropsychological profile of pre-schoolers with metaphonological difficulties: results from a non-clinical sample [Articolo su rivista]

The level of language development reached in pre-school age is considered the most reliable predictor of reading acquisition. In normally developing children, learning to read is strongly related to early language skills, and in particular to phonological processing abilities. In dyslexic children, reading abilities seem to show a correlation with phonological awareness. METHODS: A group of 65 children (aged 5-6 years) were recruited and submitted to an in-depth neuropsychological assessment [i.e. metaphonological skills, intelligence, verbal short-term memory (VSTM) and other aspects of receptive and expressive language]. We were able to identify 14 children with significant metaphonological difficulties (MD): 11 children with exclusively MD, and the other three children with specific language impairment. This study compares the neuropsychological profile obtained from children with MD with that of a peer group without any language impairment (N). RESULTS: The performances of the MD were within the normal ability range in almost all the administered tests but significantly lower compared with those of their peers without language impairment (N) in some items of the intelligence scale (Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence) and in the tests of VSTM and of receptive/expressive language. Nevertheless, there were not statistically significant differences between MD and N in output phonology. CONCLUSIONS: In pre-school age, in a group of non-clinical children, with a range of abilities, those with MD appear to be at the lower end of the normal range in many other verbal skills. These children could be considered at-risk for possible subsequent difficulties learning to read and thus need to be identified and to warrant prompt treatment.

2007 - Un "superindice" di rapidità/correttezza per le prove di lettura. [Articolo su rivista]

viene proposto un superindice in grado di integrare in un unico valore sia la componente di velocitè di lettura che quella di accuratezza.

2006 - Dislessia e codifica fonologica: un test informatizzato per la valutazione [Articolo su rivista]

viene presentato uno strumento informatizzato per la valutazione precoce della codifica fonologica

2006 - Neuropsychological deficits and neural dysfunction in familial dyslexia [Articolo su rivista]
Brambati, S.M.; Termine, C.; Ruffino, M.; Danna, M.; Lanzi, G.; Stella, G.; Cappa, S.F.; Perani, D.

We report the neuropsychological profile and the pattern of brain activity during reading tasks in a sample of familial dyslexics. We studied our subjects with an in-depth neuropsychological assessment and with functional neuroimaging (fMRI) during word and pseudoword reading and false font string observations (baseline condition). The neuropsychological assessment revealed that familial dyslexia, in both persistent and compensated forms, is often associated with deficits in verbal short-term memory, phonological awareness and automatization abilities. The functional results showed a lack of activation in the posterior areas of the reading network. This study, together with the previously published VBM study (Brambati, S.M., Termine, C., Ruffino, M., Stella, G., Fazio, F., Cappa, S.F. and Perani, D., Regional reductions of gray matter volume in familial dyslexia, Neurology, 63 (2004) 742-5), provides a multiple modality evaluation of familial dyslexia. The neuropsychological assessment showed cognitive deficits associated with dyslexia that persist also in subjects with compensated reading deficit. Both the anatomical and the functional study point out a deficit in the posterior areas of the reading network. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

2006 - Un’esperienza di screening per l’individuazione dei soggetti a rischio DSA e intervento di formazione dei docenti nella prima classe della scuola secondaria di secondo grado [Articolo su rivista]

viene proposto il lavoro di screening sulle prime classi elementare, con materiali per intervento nel corso delle fasi di scolarizzazione per potenziare lo sviluppo.

2005 - Frequenza, immaginabilità ed età di acquisizione delle parole: in che misura influenzano la lettura dei bambini italiani? [Articolo su rivista]

In this research, the effects of word frequency, imageability and age of acquisition, on Italian childrens reading aloud, are investigated. Two groups of children in the 3rd and 5th grades performed the task of single-word reading aloud. Children in both groups were faster when reading aloud high-frequency words and early-acquired words. They were also more accurate in reading aloud high-frequency words. Children in the 3rd grade were influenced more by age of acquisition than children in the 5th grade. Children in both grades were also faster at reading aloud highly imageable words, but only when they had low-frequency. These results confirm that lexical reading aloud is successfully used by young readers of a shallow orthography. Lexical-semantic variables have a smaller but significant role.

2005 - I disturbi del calcolo nella dislessia evolutiva [Articolo su rivista]
S. Arina; G. Stella

vengono presentati i sulle capacità di svolgere il calcolo mentale entro la decina da parte di bambini con DSA

2004 - Regional reductions of gray matter volume in familial dyslexia [Articolo su rivista]
Brambati, S.M.; Termine, C.; Ruffino, M.; Stella, G.; Fazio, F.; Cappa, S.F; Perani, D.

An in vivo anatomic study of gray matter volume was performed in a group of familial dyslexic individuals, using an optimized method of voxel-based morphometry. Focal abnormalities in gray matter volume were observed bilaterally in the planum temporale, inferior temporal cortex, and cerebellar nuclei, suggesting that the underlying anatomic abnormalities may be responsible for defective written language acquisition in these subjects.

2002 - How early does morpholexical reading develop in readers of a shallow orthography? [Articolo su rivista]
Burani, C.; Marcolini, S.; Stella, G.

In this research, lexical and morpholexical reading in Italian children ages 8 to 10 years were investigated. Children and control adults were administered two tasks on words and pseudowords: visual lexical decision and naming. Word frequency effects in both lexical decision and naming were found in both children and adults. For all age groups pseudowords made up of roots and derivational suffixes were decided more frequently as possible words and were named more quickly and accurately than matched pseudowords with no morphological constituency. These results show that morpholexical reading is available and efficient in young readers of a shallow orthography, with similar patterns in children and adults. © 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).