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

. ``The study supported the idea that for some children, getting training on just simply processing rapid sounds is a route to becoming much more fluent and capable readers,`` he said. In addition, activation of the children`s brains fundamentally changed, becoming much more like that of good readers. ``We see that the brains of these children are remarkably plastic and adaptive, and it makes us hopeful that the best language intervention programs in the future can alter the brains in fundamentally helpful ways,`` he said.

It is likely that the children will continue to need considerable help in reading, Gabrieli said. ``This is not a one-shot vaccine,`` he said. ``But it makes them much more prepared to take advantage of a regular curriculum to read successfully and do well.``

The next step, Temple said, is to see if other commercial programs can alter the brain as well. ``I don`t know if these changes are unique to this program,`` she said. ``Are there some training programs that are better for some kids than others?`` A future goal would be to offer a series of tests to help select which programs best meet a child`s needs, she said.

For many years, Gabrieli said, the nation has been concerned with the best methods to teach reading. ``We`re hoping that this becomes one piece of many pieces of research that will help us better understand ... what are effective ways to rescue children who have trouble reading,`` he said. In addition, the study brings the scientific use of brain imaging into the arena of education. ``We`d like to use these cutting-edge tools of neuroscience to somehow directly assist thoughts about educational curricula, policies and ways to help children perform better in school and look forward to better futures,`` he said.


Contact: John Gabrieli
Stanford University

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