Why study reading & dyslexia in children using fMRI and EEG?
In the Netherlands about one out of twenty children is dyslexic. This means that about 77.000 children in this country do not learn to read and write sufficiently. As a consequence, dyslexics often feel as if they under perform as compared to their normal-reading peers. Moreover, children with developmental dyslexia and their parents have to invest a lot more energy to achieve sufficient reading levels. Our Reading and Dyslexia research at the M-BIC, Maastricht University focuses on how subtle differences in brain function of dyslexic children as compared to normal readers can account for their reading difficulties. In addition we aim to understand individual differences in reading fluency across the entire spectrum from poor to average to excellent readers.
We use the modern brain imaging technique functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to look how the brain processes written and spoken language and how this relates to gains in reading fluency. We also use electroencephalography (EEG) to study the time-course of these processes. Once we understand more about the exact brain mechanisms that lead to individual differences in reading fluency we can use this knowledge to improve reading strategies and dyslexia treatment.
Would you like to find out more about how the brain works? Take a look at the Brainmatters website!