Cambridge researchers studying cognition, behavior and the brain have concluded that dyslexia plays a fundamental role in a person’s adaptation to changing conditions. Scientists believe that this “exploratory bias” of people with dyslexia has an evolutionary basis and plays a critical role in our survival. According to experts, we need to change our understanding of dyslexia as a neurological disorder.
Author Dr. Helen Taylor emphasizes: “We believe that the difficulties faced by people with dyslexia arise from a cognitive trade-off between learning new information and using existing knowledge, with an exploratory bias on the positive side that may explain the enhanced abilities observed in areas such as discovery, invention, and creativity. This is the first time that an interdisciplinary approach from an evolutionary perspective has been applied to the analysis of dyslexia research.
Dyslexia occurs in 20% of the population, regardless of country, culture or region. The World Federation of Neurologists defines it as “a disorder in children who, despite normal school experience, cannot achieve language skills in reading, writing and spelling appropriate to their intellectual abilities.”
The new findings are explained in the context of “Additional Cognition,” a theory that suggests that our ancestors evolved to specialize in different but complementary ways of thinking, which enhances the human ability to adapt through cooperation.