Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Poor Reading Skills Have Both Physical, Environmental Causes

Date:
July 20, 2001
Source:
Center For The Advancement Of Health
Summary:
Reading problems in young children may be influenced by a combination of both neurological and environmental factors, according to a new study.

Reading problems in young children may be influenced by a combination of both neurological and environmental factors, according to a new study.

Related Articles


"Children may fail to develop adequate reading skills because of their environment, abnormal brain structure, or both," says lead study author Mark A. Eckert, Ph.D., of the McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida.

The researchers found that reading skill and verbal ability were predicted by asymmetry of the temporal plane, a brain area that processes auditory information. Poorly performing children had more symmetrical temporal planes, compared with a left-weighted asymmetry which is more commonly seen.

Eckert and colleagues also found that although children from low-income families performed more poorly on the reading tests, brain asymmetry had similar effects across income levels.

They also found that parents in low-income families, identified through their participation in a government subsidized school lunch program, spent significantly less time helping their children with homework than wealthier parents. Children with both weak asymmetry and low income demonstrated the weakest language mastery.

"I think it's important to note that there were no anatomical differences in children from different socioeconomic environments. But if a child has a less asymmetrical brain, improving the literacy environment becomes especially important", says Christiana M. Leonard, Ph.D., a co-author of the study.

The study is published in the August issue of the journal Child Development.

Magnetic resonance imaging was used to examine the brains of 39 sixth grade children who were representative of the public school population in Alachua County, Florida.

The researchers gave the study participants verbal tests, including tests of their ability to pronounce unfamiliar words, to determine missing words in a paragraph and to reorder nonsense syllables into words.

The researchers aren't sure why brain symmetry interferes with the development of reading skills. "One possibility is that larger right hemisphere structures might interfere with left hemisphere dominance of language processing," suggests Linda Lombardino, Ph.D., another co-author at the Institute.

The researchers note that the correlation between reading ability and brain asymmetry only applied to right-handed participants. In most right-handed people, the left hemisphere dominates language processing, while language dominance is unpredictable in non-right-handed individuals.

Current studies are testing whether reading intervention programs should be tailored to children's anatomy. An understanding of how home environment and brain structure affect reading skill may lead to more effective reading intervention programs, says Eckert.

These findings emphasize the importance of a rich early linguistic environment, especially for children with less asymmetrical brains.

This research was supported by the International Dyslexia Association, the Center for Neurobiological Sciences and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center For The Advancement Of Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Poor Reading Skills Have Both Physical, Environmental Causes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 July 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010720092903.htm>.
Center For The Advancement Of Health. (2001, July 20). Poor Reading Skills Have Both Physical, Environmental Causes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010720092903.htm
Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Poor Reading Skills Have Both Physical, Environmental Causes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010720092903.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins