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In people with dyslexia, both these measures revealed faulty connections between the superior temporal gyrus — the region that contains the auditory cortex — and the inferior frontal gyrus — a region involved in language processing and speech production.

Lost connections

Furthermore, the worse the functional connectivity between these regions, the worse participants performed on reading and other phonological tasks. Taken together, the measures predicted whether the participant was dyslexic or not with 73 per cent accuracy.

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At the very least, knowing that sound is well represented in the cortex, researchers may want to look elsewhere for a way of intervening with dyslexia. Boets thinks it may be possible to help people with dyslexia by targeting the faulty connections.

A follow-up study is already underway, which will scan a group of children at hereditary risk of dyslexia at different stages of learning to read, to try to answer questions about when these differences appear, and how they change over the course of learning to read. But for the people who live with dyslexia, there's a more immediate need to find solutions to help them read better now.

Shaywitz said there is already a solid method of how to teach children with dyslexia to read, although the techniques are often underutilized by schools because they lack resources or fail to diagnose children early. For example, she said, drawing children's attention to the sounds that make up words, teaching them how words rhyme, and repeatedly exposing children to letters and their corresponding sounds can be quite effective.

Dyslexia: the Role of Vision and Visual Attention

As a young scientist, Schneps inadvertently found a way to compensate for his reading struggles. He sought out research questions in small, cutting-edge corners of astrophysics, where there were relatively few other people working — and also few published papers he would have to read. He began to realize that he was not completely alone; he had colleagues who were skilled physicists but struggled to read. There is some evidence that people with dyslexia have different visual learning abilities, allowing them to notice things more in the periphery of their vision.

That sort of visual skill might make reading more difficult, but Schneps began to wonder whether it might be advantageous in science.

Dyslexia treatment potentially discovered by French scientists studying the eye | The Independent

His curiosity led him to set aside his research on star formation and the size of the galaxy. At first, he studied the visual processing skills of people with dyslexia , and found that college students with the disability were better at learning where to find a target in a blurry picture than those without it, a skill that might be useful in careers such as radiology or astronomy that require visual abilities besides reading.

Now Schneps's focus is on how technology could aid reading. On a recent weekday, Charlie Krampf, a recent graduate from the Landmark School in Beverly, which specializes in teaching children with language-based learning disabilities, donned a cap covered with electrodes that measured his brain activity as he read a story.

Neuroscience research into dyslexia leads to 'brainprints'

As his eyes moved along, flashes appeared at different points in his peripheral vision. Researchers wanted to know whether the flash registered differently in his brain than in the brains of people without a learning disability.

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Laszlo, Jin, and their colleague, Maria V. Ruiz-Blondet, decided to explore whether they could perfect this approach by measuring brain activity in adults who were either focusing on a recurring, easily remembered, thought or looking at specific images of different foods, words, 3-D designs and celebrity faces. By analyzing brain activity response to visual and thought stimuli, Laszlo said "We can identify the individual with percent accuracy.


When Zhanpeng first came to me with the idea, I honestly didn't think it would work. It's amazing. Related Programs Developmental and Learning Sciences.

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