Dyslexia in Science

Professor John Gabrieli of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a paper in the current issue of Science discussing dyslexia. Here’s the abstract.

Gabrieli, J. D. E. (2009). Dyslexia: A new synergy between education and cognitive neuroscience. Science, 325, 280 – 283

Reading is essential in modern societies, but many children have dyslexia, a difficulty in learning to read. Dyslexia often arises from impaired phonological awareness, the auditory analysis of spoken language that relates the sounds of language to print. Behavioral remediation, especially at a young age, is effective for many, but not all, children. Neuroimaging in children with dyslexia has revealed reduced engagement of the left temporo-parietal cortex for phonological processing of print, altered white-matter connectivity, and functional plasticity associated with effective intervention. Behavioral and brain measures identify infants and young children at risk for dyslexia, and preventive intervention is often effective. A combination of evidence-based teaching practices and cognitive neuroscience measures could prevent dyslexia from occurring in the majority of children who would otherwise develop dyslexia.

Link to the article

3 Responses to “Dyslexia in Science”

  • Hi John,

    Since I’m not a member of the AAAS it would cost be $15 to read the article. I’m curious as to how Gabrieli defined dyslexia for the purpose of his study. Can you share that?

    I appreciate it,


  • Greg, Professor Gabrieli’s paper is in the form of a discussion, so the definition he uses does not describe the participants in a study. Nevertheless, here’s how he defined dyslexia:

    Definition of dyslexia. Most children have reading difficulties for three broad reasons: (i) dyslexia, which is characterized by a difficulty in understanding and using alphabetic or logographic principles to acquire accurate and fluent reading skills, (ii) reduced vocabulary and strategies needed for text comprehension, and (iii) reduced motivation to read. The latter reasons for reading failure often involve socioeconomic factors, at home and at school, that are beyond the scope of this review.

    Thanks for commenting.

  • Hi John,

    I appreciate that… Dyslexia as a group of symptoms. I think the possibility of a genetic definition one day soon along with advances in cognitive neuropsychology could make the next few years exciting for the field.


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