Residency period: August 1, 2015 to July 31, 2016

IEAT resident, Professor Cláudia Cardoso Martins holds a degree in Psychology from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (1974), a Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1979) and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( 1984). She is currently a professor at the Department of Psychology at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, where she coordinates the Psychology of Cognitive and Language Development laboratory.


The project has two main objectives: 1) to evaluate the reading profiles of children with developmental dyslexia in Portuguese in order to determine their relative ability with regard to two important components of reading, namely: a) the ability to read through phonological recoding, that is, the translation of letters or groups of letters into their corresponding sounds; and b) the ability to recognize familiar words as a whole quickly and automatically; and 2) examine the cognitive correlates of the profiles found in order to test two alternative hypotheses of developmental dyslexia, namely, the phonological deficit hypothesis and the spelling deficit hypothesis. The phonological deficit hypothesis is currently the dominant theoretical explanation of developmental dyslexia. According to this hypothesis, reading and writing difficulties in developmental dyslexia result from a deficit in phonological processing, which compromises the child’s ability to learn to read through phonological recoding, a fundamental skill for successful reading learning. in alphabetical spelling. On the other hand, according to the orthographic deficit hypothesis, the central problem in developmental dyslexia results from a deficit in the ability to map or connect the visual and phonological forms of words and, consequently, in the construction of an orthographic lexicon.

For the reasons described in the project, it is expected that the spelling deficit hypothesis offers a more adequate explanation of developmental dyslexia in Portuguese than the phonological deficit hypothesis.