Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Yale researchers identify two types of childhood reading disability

16.07.2003


Yale researchers have, for the first time, identified two types of reading disability: a primarily inherent type with higher cognitive ability (poor readers who compensate for disability), and a more environmentally influenced type with lower cognitive skills and attendance at more disadvantaged schools (persistently poor readers).



The findings, published in the July 1 issue of Biological Psychiatry, show that compensated poor readers were able to overcome some of the disability, improving their ability to read words accurately and to understand what they read. In contrast, the persistently poor readers continued to experience difficulties; as children these readers had lower cognitive ability and more often attended disadvantaged schools.

"These findings indicate the important role of experience in the proper development of the neural systems for reading and offer hope for teaching our most disadvantaged children how to read," said principal investigator Sally Shaywitz, M.D., professor of pediatrics at Yale University School of Medicine and co-director of the National Institutes of Health Yale Center for the Study of Learning and Attention.


Shaywitz said the study resolves a major question in reading disability: why some children compensate for their reading difficulties, while others continue to struggle to read. Brain activation patterns show a disruption in the neural systems for reading in compensated readers. The researchers were surprised to find that the neural circuitry for reading real words is present in persistently poor readers, but has not been properly activated.

"Reading is the most important work of childhood and yet, as many as one in five children struggle to learn to read, with consequences extending beyond childhood into adult life," said Shaywitz. "The discovery that the neural systems for reading are intact in our most disadvantaged and most persistently poor readers has important educational implications and is of special relevance for teaching children to read."

"Children need to be able to sound out words in order to decode them accurately and then, they need to know the meaning of the word to help them decode and comprehend the printed message," said Shaywitz. "Our results show that providing early interventions aimed at stimulating both the ability to sound out words and to understand word meanings would be beneficial in children at risk for reading difficulties associated with disadvantage."

Shaywitz and her team used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine brain activation patterns in two groups of young adults who were poor readers as children and have been part of the Connecticut Longitudinal study since 1983 when they were five-year-olds. Compensated poor readers made up one group; persistently poor readers were a second group; and a third group of children who were always good readers served as controls.

The children in the study had their reading assessed yearly throughout their primary and secondary schooling. Poor readers were identified by word reading tests in second grade; by ninth grade, some children had improved in reading accuracy (compensated poor readers) while others continued to be poor readers in ninth grade (persistently poor readers).

The study also examined early environmental factors distinguishing the compensated readers from the persistently poor readers that might account for their different brain imaging patterns and outcomes.

"These findings are exciting because they suggest with early stimulation these already present neural systems for reading could be connected properly and allow children to become good readers," said Shaywitz. "They emphasize the importance of the environment and particularly, of teaching."

Other authors on the study included Bennett Shaywitz, M.D., Robert Fulbright, M.D., Pawel Skudlarski, Einar Mencl, Todd Constable, Ken Pugh, John Holahan; Karen Marchione, Jack Fletcher, Reid Lyon and John Gore.

Karen N. Peart | Yale University
Further information:
http://www.yale.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>