The PEN Distinguished Lecture Series in Educational Neuroscience was created in association with the Foundations Proseminar course for graduate students in the Ph.D. in Educational Neuroscience (PEN) program. Since its inception, the series has grown!
The lecture series focuses on the intersection of the Science of Learning (learning across the lifespan) and Educational Neuroscience (learning across early life). Scientists and researchers who are pioneers in the fields of Cognitive-Educational Neuroscience, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, and Child Development come to Gallaudet University's campus to talk about their research.
All lectures are open to the public and are video recorded for online distribution.
In this talk, I will construct a framework for understanding the development of reading ability in children based on research on reading acquisition and disability. This framework postulates that the growth of reading skill results from enhanced coordination and interactivity of brain regions involved in the visual (spelling), auditory (sound), and semantic (meaning) constituents of word processing. I will present data from a cross-sectional study of spelling-sound sensitivity in typically-achieving and impaired readers ages 8-15 using functional MRI. I will also present fMRI data suggesting that instruction of spelling-sound relationships enhances learning outcomes and subsequent activity in the reading network compared to holistic word form instruction. Lastly, I will argue that executive processing may underlie some of the basic deficits in reading failure and provide evidence that these general cognitive abilities may be enhanced through training. These findings have theoretical and practical implications for understanding reading ability, disability, and instruction in the developing brain.