Dyslexic children`s brains operate more like those of normal readers following training

ing which the children had to stay completely still. Afterward, they were rewarded with Pokmon or baseball cards, and given a picture of their brain to take home. Before the sessions started, Temple allowed the children to play around the machines, which can be claustrophobic, to help them become comfortable with the testing process. ``In this study, it was especially important not to have the experience be a bad one because we wanted them to come back,`` Temple said.

During the rhyming exercise, children with normal reading showed activity in both the language-critical left frontal and temporal regions of the brain, the latter of which is behind and above the left ear. Dyslexics, however, struggled with the task and failed to activate the temporal region, and showed some activity only in the frontal brain area.

Afterward, the dyslexic children used the Fast ForWord Language computer program for 100 minutes a day, five days a week, as part of their regular school day. ``The computer games were fun, the kids liked them,`` Gabrieli said. The program consisted of seven exercises that rewarded players when they answered questions correctly. For example, when a picture of a boy and a toy was shown, a voice from the computer would ask the player to point to the boy, a step that required understanding the very brief difference in the sound of the first consonant in each word. Initially, the questions were asked in a slower, more exaggerated fashion than in normal speech to help the children understand the sounds inside the words. As the player progressed, the speed of the voice in the program slowly increased. ``Each child worked at his or her own level,`` Tallal said. ``The goal was to leave all children processing sounds correctly in words and sentences of increasing length and grammatical complexity.``

The results

Following the training, the dyslexic children`s scores went up in a number of language and reading tests, Gabrieli said

Contact: John Gabrieli
Stanford University

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