Single-trial FRPs: A Machine Learning Approach Towards the Study of the Neural Underpinning of Reading Disorders
Keywords:Electroencephalography, eye-tracking, reading disorders, cognitive-congruency, machine learning, EEG
Understanding the neural underpinning of reading disorders, such as dyslexia, is a fundamental question in developmental neuroscience. However, identifying and isolating informative neural components elicited during free-naming paradigms (i.e. unprompted and unconstrained naming tasks) has proven a challenging methodological task. These methodological barriers have hindered the study of the neural underpinnings of reading disorders. In this paper, we proposed a machine learning approach for detecting neural components during free-naming, overcoming much of the current methodological challenges. We propose a new neural-based metric to differentiate groups of children with dyslexia (DYS) and their chronological age controls (CAC) in a free-naming task. Our approach combines electroencephalography (EEG) and eye-tracking measures to generate single-trial fixation-related potentials (sFRPs) and formulate an optimization problem to extract naming-related neural components, informative of group differences. Our approach is validated on a real dataset involving children with dyslexia and CAC performing a Rapid-Automatized Naming (RAN) task. Our results demonstrate the validity of the proposed metric as an indicator of the neural-based markers of reading disorders. Importantly, our proposed framework provides a novel approach that can facilitate the study of neural correlates of reading disorders under paradigms current methods are unable to.