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Seminar Abstract

How does the brain learn to read?

Speaker : Professor James Booth, Department of Psychology and Human Development, Vanderbilt University, USA.
Date : 13th of July 2018, 11:00AM until 12:00PM
Location : Australian Hearing Hub, 3.610, Macquarie University.

Reading is fundamental to human society and the costs of illiteracy are enormous. In this lecture, I will discuss our attempts to uncover the mechanisms underlying the development of our amazing abilities to read. I will argue that general principles of brain development are key to reaching a deeper understanding in this field of inquiry. These principles suggest increases across development in (1) the specialization of brain regions for different computations and (2) the interaction between brain regions through enhanced connectivity. I will also review evidence suggesting that our growing knowledge of typical brain development is relevant for understanding why approximately 6% of children have reading disabilities. Finally, I will discuss our recent attempts at using brain imaging in clinical applications.

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