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Carnegie Mellon brain imaging study illustrates how remedial instruction helps poor readers
Date:6/11/2008

sound, which is not a straightforward process in the English language. The same parietotemporal areas of the brain that showed increased activation following instruction are centrally involved in this sound-based processing.

The findings also give hope to using the marvels of brain plasticity for instructional purposes in "new" (for the brain) subject areas. "The human brain did not evolve to process written language, which is a cultural invention dating back only 5000 years," Just said. "Some people's brains happen to be less proficient at relating written symbols to the sounds of language, and they need focused instruction to get those areas up to an adequate level of performance." Other skills that may be valuable as newer technologies (than written language) arise should also be amenable to neuroinstruction.

"Any kind of education is a matter of training the brain. When poor readers are learning to read, a particular brain area is not performing as well as it might, and remedial instruction helps to shape that area up," Just said. "This finding shows that poor readers can be helped to develop buff brains. A similar approach should apply to other skills."


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Contact: Kelli McElhinny
kellim@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-6094
Carnegie Mellon University
Source:Eurekalert

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