Lateralisation for written language in primary school students at risk for dyslexia

ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Margriet Groen and Todd Richards
A recommendation of:

Cerebral lateralization of writing in students at risk for dyslexia using functional Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography


Submission: posted 06 June 2022
Recommendation: posted 01 December 2022, validated 01 December 2022
Cite this recommendation as:
Krishnan, S. (2022) Lateralisation for written language in primary school students at risk for dyslexia. Peer Community in Registered Reports, .


While cerebral lateralisation for oral language is well-characterised, cerebral lateralisation for written language is much less well-understood. In this study, Papadopoulou et al. (2022) will use functional transcranial Doppler ultrasonography to assess lateralisation for written language in 7- to 9-year-old children at risk for dyslexia and neurotypical children. They will use tasks that assess efficiency in reading and writing names as well as speed and fluency in writing. The findings of this manuscript will highlight whether children with dyslexia showed atypical lateralisation for language in a written task. In addition, the authors plan to explore the correlation between lateralisation and writing competence. 
The Stage 1 manuscript was evaluated over two rounds of in-depth review. Based on the edits made to the manuscript, and detailed responses to the reviewers' comments, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 1 criteria and therefore awarded in-principle acceptance (IPA).
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: (under temporary private embargo)
Level of bias control achieved: Level 6. No part of the data or evidence that will be used to answer the research question yet exists and no part will be generated until after IPA. 
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
1. Papadopoulou, A.-K., Vlachos, F., Pervanidou, P., Anesiadou, S., Antoniou, F., Phylactou, P., Badcock, N.A. & Papadatou-Pastou, M. (2022). Cerebral lateralization of writing in students at risk for dyslexia using functional Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography, in principle acceptance of Version 2 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. (under temporary private embargo)
Conflict of interest:
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article.

Reviewed by , 30 Nov 2022

I have now had a chance to carefully read the authors' responses to the reviewer comments and the revised manuscript. The authors have done a great job and addressed all issues that I outlined in my original review. I'm therefore happy to recommend acceptance of this Stage 1 report.

Reviewed by , 17 Oct 2022

The authors have responded to my previous comments/concerns and have revised the registered report accordingly.  I feel that the registered report is now ready.

Evaluation round #1

DOI or URL of the report:

Author's Reply, 12 Oct 2022

Decision by ORCID_LOGO, posted 01 Aug 2022

I have now received reviews from two experts in the field. The reviewers are enthusiastic about the topic and research questions, but raise several issues. I believe their recommendations will help improve the clarity, replicability, and interpretation of the results.

As the reviewers highlight, these issues can be addressed in revision. I am therefore pleased to invite you to submit a revised version of this manuscript. Please include a point-by-point response to the reviewers when submitting your revised manuscript. 

Reviewed by , 01 Aug 2022

Please see the document attached for detailed comments.

Download the review

Reviewed by , 13 Jun 2022

This pre-registered report has excellent development of background, hypotheses, and methods. Here are some suggestions to help improve the plan. First of all, great job on the plan to characterize the written language deficits!

1) Hypothesis 2 needs to be further explained and this reviewer recommends modifying the hypothesis to say that the correlation between writing competence and cerebral lateralization will be different between children with dyslexia and typically developing children. Specifically , the slopes of the correlations should be tested for differences between children with dyslexia and typically developing children.

2) For statistical analysis of the data section of the plan, the authors should clarify how the Bayesian approach can be used to statistically compare the cerebral lateralization between the two groups.

3) This recommends recommends adding statistical methods on how to compare the correlation slopes between the two groups using statistical software R for Hypothesis 2 (R has a nice tutorial on how to make this comparison). There should be a description on generating a scatter correlation plot for hypothesis 2 complete with regression fit lines for each group.

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