The ongoing study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, is seeking children and adolescents between the ages of 8 and 17 with dyslexia as well as children with no learning problems.
Lisa L. Conant, PhD, assistant professor of neurology at the Medical College, is principal investigator for the grant. According to Dr. Conant, “This study combines several neuropsychological and neuroimaging measures in a comprehensive approach to the investigation of the underlying processing problems in dyslexia and their neural bases. The characterization of specific, well-defined subtypes based on this comprehensive approach could lead to the development of more targeted intervention strategies.”
Participation in the study involves up to four visits. In the first visit, the volunteer will take a brief hearing screening test and complete several tests, including measures of intellectual functioning, speech sound processing, reading abilities, language abilities, and attention. The other three visits will involve playing different sound matching games in the MRI scanner. Images of the brain will be obtained using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while participants perform these tasks. The images show which areas of the brain are “working” the hardest. There is no exposure to x-rays or radioactivity during the imaging.
To participate in this study, children must be right-handed, native English speakers with no history of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or significant neurological or psychiatric disorders. Parents of participants receive a brief summary of the test results for the child and a picture of the child’s brain. For each session, a stipend is provided to the parents to cover travel and expenses, and the child receives a gift certificate for a local store. For more information, please call 414-456-7623.