Learning disabilities such as dyslexia are believed to affect nearly one in 10 children. To better study them, a Northwestern University research team has developed a data-driven conceptual framework that links two well-established scientific concepts. In doing so, they also have developed a non-invasive diagnostic tool called BioMAP that can quickly identify children with learning disabilities.
Scientists have long recognized that children who can best process various aspects of the sounds of language are more likely to read earlier and develop into better readers and writers than those who cannot. After a decade of research, Northwestern Professor Nina Kraus and her colleagues have discovered a subset of learning disabilities that results from a dysfunction in the way the brainstem encodes certain basic sounds of speech.
In an article in the April "Trends in Neurosciences," Kraus, who is Hugh Knowles Professor of Communication Sciences and Neurobiology, and senior research analyst Trent Nicol for the first time ever have linked the source-filter model of acoustics with the cerebral cortexs "what" and "where" pathways via the auditory brainstem.
Wendy Leopold | EurekAlert!
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