Dyslexia is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired reading ability despite normal intellect, and is associated with specific difficulties in phonological and rapid auditory processing (RAP), visual attention and working memory. Genetic variants in Doublecortin domain-containing protein 2 (DCDC2) have been associated with dyslexia, impairments in phonological processing and in short-term/working memory. The purpose of this study was to determine whether sensory and behavioral impairments can result directly from mutation of the Dcdc2 gene in mice. Several behavioral tasks, including a modified pre-pulse inhibition paradigm (to examine auditory processing), a 4/8 radial arm maze (to assess/dissociate working vs. reference memory) and rotarod (to examine sensorimotor ability and motor learning), were used to assess the effects of Dcdc2 mutation. Behavioral results revealed deficits in RAP, working memory and reference memory in Dcdc2(del2/del2) mice when compared with matched wild types. Current findings parallel clinical research linking genetic variants of DCDC2 with specific impairments of phonological processing and memory ability.
Keywords: Dcdc2; dyslexia; language impairment; rapid auditory processing; working memory.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.