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More brain effects

Posted Dec 02 2005 12:00am

Virginia Berninger, Todd Richards, and their colleagues at the Learning Disabilities Center of the University of Washington are reporting the results of yet another study showing that effective teaching of reading causes changes in the brains of children identified as having dyslexia. Working with a small group of preadolescent boys, the team imaged the brains, provided a year of novel tutoring—they predicated the phonological intervention on science activities—in fundamentals of decoding, and then imaged the brains again as well as post-testing their reading skills. The reading skills improved dramatically and the images showed that the boys’ brain activity more closely approximated the brain activity of non-disabled peers.

“This research offers a message of hope. We can see improvement in children’s reading levels with this intervention even if there are preexisting brain differences that make learning difficult. Parents of the boys in the study told us that children who didn’t read independently before are now picking up books on their own and reading them.”

Pretty soon, I have to catalog this and the other brain-change studies and report about them.

Link to the U.W. news service story and link to Mr. Richards description of the project.

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