Page 1 of 1

Stanford brain wave study shows impact of phonics

Posted: Fri May 29, 2015 9:42 am
by moomintroll
http://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/may/ ... 52815.html
Stanford study on brain waves shows how different teaching methods affect reading development

Stanford Professor Bruce McCandliss found that beginning readers who focus on letter-sound relationships, or phonics, increase activity in the area of their brains best wired for reading.

Beginning readers who focus on letter-sound relationships, or phonics, instead of trying to learn whole words, increase activity in the area of their brains best wired for reading, according to new Stanford research investigating how the brain responds to different types of reading instruction.

In other words, to develop reading skills, teaching students to sound out "C-A-T" sparks more optimal brain circuitry than instructing them to memorize the word "cat." And, the study found, these teaching-induced differences show up even on future encounters with the word.

The study, co-authored by Stanford Professor Bruce McCandliss of the Graduate School of Education and the Stanford Neuroscience Institute, provides some of the first evidence that a specific teaching strategy for reading has direct neural impact. The research could eventually lead to better-designed interventions to help struggling readers.

"This research is exciting because it takes cognitive neuroscience and connects it to questions that have deep meaning and history in educational research," said McCandliss, who wrote the study with Yuliya Yoncheva, a researcher at New York University, and Jessica Wise, a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin.

Re: Stanford brain wave study shows impact of phonics

Posted: Fri May 29, 2015 9:57 am
by kenm
words learned via whole-word association showed activity biased toward right hemisphere processing.
How about "Whole-word teaching causes dyslexia"?

See also http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar ... 4X15000772.

Re: Stanford brain wave study shows impact of phonics

Posted: Fri May 29, 2015 3:15 pm
by Debbie Hepplewhite
See my second message via link below - I was reminded of an old Charles Richardson piece in the RRF newsletter archives:


http://phonicsinternational.com/forum/v ... =2293#2293

Re: Stanford brain wave study shows impact of phonics

Posted: Fri May 29, 2015 5:29 pm
by Susan Godsland
And there's research (2002) indicating that ''a deficit in functional brain organization underlying dyslexia can be reversed after sufficiently intense intervention lasting as little as 2 months''

Two linguistic phonics intervention programmes were used in the research.

Simos, P. et al (2002). Dyslexia-specific brain activation profile becomes normal following successful remedial training. Neurology, 58, 1203-1212.
Objectives: To examine changes in the spatiotemporal brain activation profiles associated with successful completion of an intensive intervention program in individual dyslexic children.

Methods: The authors obtained magnetic source imaging scans during a pseudoword reading task from eight children (7 to 17 years old) before and after 80 hours of intensive remedial instruction. All children were initially diagnosed with dyslexia, marked by severe difficulties in word recognition and phonologic processing. Eight children who never experienced reading problems were also tested on two occasions separated by a 2-month interval.

Results: Before intervention, all children with dyslexia showed distinctly aberrant activation profiles featuring little or no activation of the posterior portion of the superior temporal gyrus (STGp), an area normally involved in phonologic processing, and increased activation of the corresponding right hemisphere area. After intervention that produced significant improvement in reading skills, activity in the left STGp increased by several orders of magnitude in every participant. No systematic changes were obtained in the activation profiles of the children without dyslexia as a function of time.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that the deficit in functional brain organization underlying dyslexia can be reversed after sufficiently intense intervention lasting as little as 2 months, and are consistent with current proposals that reading difficulties in many children represent a variation of normal development that can be altered by intense intervention.