Reading difficulty is characterized by slow, inaccurate reading, poor comprehension and fluency. The goal of this proposal is to demonstrate that executive functions also have a crucial role in proficient reading. Specifically we will examine two novel hypotheses about the role of executive functions in reading using brain imaging and behavioral assessments of reading and executive functions skills in children. First, we postulate that poor reading skills will be associated with disruption in connectivity between executive functions and reading networks as reflected in neuroimaging measures of structural and functional connectivity. Secondly, we expect that computer-based training using the Reading Acceleration Program (RAP) will improve reading by strengthening connections between reading and executive functions circuitry. We anticipate an improvement in reading skills in both typical readers and children with reading difficulties, with more specific and dramatic impact on reading abilities in children with reading difficulties. Our pilot data has demonstrated that RAP training improved reading as well executive functions in children with reading difficulties in as little as four weeks. The proposed studies will use structural and functional brain imaging and connectivity analysis plus reading and cognitive assessments to fill the gap in our knowledge about the interaction between executive functions and reading ability. Further, a control group with a non-reading intervention will allow us to examine the specificity o the RAP intervention to reading difficulties. We will apply this knowledge to determine whether executive functions-based reading intervention, targeting the connection between executive functions and reading, can remediate reading difficulties in school age children. We will apply innovative analysis methods to understand the role of executive functions in reading aimed at developing more suitable diagnoses and interventions for children with reading difficulties.
This study will provide neurobiological evidence for the important role of executive functions in reading and in reading difficulties. Our expectation is tht the results will encourage clinicians and educators to include the executive functions component in the clinical diagnosis and intervention for children with reading difficulties.
|Nachshon, Ohad; Horowitz-Kraus, Tzipi (2018) Cognitive and emotional challenges in children with reading difficulties. Acta Paediatr :|
|Twait, Emma; Farah, Rola; Horowitz-Kraus, Tzipi (2018) Decreased functional connectivity of the salience network during narrative comprehension in children with reading difficulties: An fMRI study. Neuroimage Clin 20:987-992|