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.

"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 September 30, 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 September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
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