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Neural Correlates of Reading Intervention in Adults

Reading is strongly correlated with phonological awareness. Phonological intervention, therefore, is frequently utilized in order to advance children who experience reading difficulties. Most intervention programs focus on children, but it is believed that adults also have the potential for nervous system plasticity, which could result in reading improvement. This project investigates the potential for reading skill acquisition in adults after intervention, even if skills were not acquired during childhood due to the presence of developmental dyslexia. Intensive behavioral intervention using the Lindamood-Bell program for adult dyslexics is being delivered. Some of the dyslexic individuals receive a phonological-based intervention, while the others receive a control intervention based on mathematical skill training. All of the subjects have a persistent decoding (phonological) deficit and half have a persistent fluency deficit in addition to a phonological deficit (double deficit). Behavioral and physiological changes, measured with fMRI, will be investigated to determine the overall response to the intervention. The “double deficit” and “single deficit” group responses will also be compared. Results will provide important new information about the neural mechanisms responsible for reading improvement in adults with a history of poor decoding and fluency.

(Funding Source: NICHD)

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