Growing evidence from multimodal brain imaging studies highlights the importance of a synergistic approach towards characterizing the neurobiological substrate of reading disability (RD). The overall goal of Project 4 (Neuroimaging) is to develop a comprehensive neurobiological model of text comprehension that will supplement the cognitive framework developed within Project 2 (Executive Functions). In addition, we propose to evaluate features of brain organization associate with developmental outcomes of educational interventions addressed in Project 3 (Intervention). Project 4 (Neuroimaging) will address three aims.
The first aim i s to characterize features of brain organization supporting sentence comprehension, using a multiple task and multimodal imaging approach (MEG, quantitative structural MRI and DTI), to identify print- dependent and print-independent neural components of reading comprehension (RC)--the former associated with sentence reading and word recognition, and the latter associated with executive functions (EFs)--in non- impaired readers and in students experiencing text comprehension difficulties.
The second aim i s to examine the predictive value of pre-intervention multimodal imaging data for subsequent response to intervention.
This aim models individual response to educational interventions (Project 3) as a function of aberrant features of the brain organization for comprehension in RD.
The third aim i s to investigate functional changes in brain organization following educational interventions by focusing on adequate and inadequate responders in conjunction with project 1 (Classification). Addressing this aim entails evaluating alternative models of functional brain plasticity in association with successful response to intervention (i.e., "normalization" vs. "compensation"). By successfully addressing these aims. Project 4 will promote novel directions in cognitive neuroscience research featuring combinations of several multimodal imaging methods, in order to identify features of brain organization that are crucial for typical development of reading comprehension skills and successful intervention outcomes.
Although much attention has been devoted to neural processes underlying word reading, less is known about the neural correlates of reading comprehension, especially in relation to instructional response and executive functions. Multimodal imaging promises a more comprehensive understanding of the brain mechanisms associated with adequate and inadequate instructional response and the neural correlates of reading comprehension in typically developing and struggling readers.
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