Directors: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Program officer: María Lourdes Majdalani
The neural correlates of phonemic awareness in normal reading children
The neural basis of reading in normal reading children is not yet well established. Here, I will report on the neural bases of phonemic awareness in normally reading children aged 8-14. The described study used a combination of behavioral, neuropsychological and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures. Phonological awareness skills play a central role in the development of fluent reading. Previous neuroimaging studies of phonological processing have tended to utilize print mediated tasks that necessarily require some amount of orthographic processing. This study fully isolates phonology from other reading related skills, and further, is a more precise assessment of specific sub-skills of phonological awareness than has previously been accomplished. Activation results are correlated with scores on reading relevant neuropsychological tests. Results and the innovative study design itself are considered in terms of possible implications for connecting the fields of neuroscience and education.