Currently our lab is engaged in several research project, keep reading to find out more!
PREDICTING LEARNING OUTCOMES IN SCHOOLS
Individuals with reading disability vary in how well and how quickly they respond to interventions that target reading skills. To better understand these individual differences, our lab actively collaborates with two schools, AIM Academy and The Windward School, that use evidence-based programs to treat reading disability. As part of these collaborations, we have built in-school labs to collect behavioral and EEG data, and we track the same students longitudinally to identify behavioral and neurobiological predictors of treatment response.
EFFECTIVENESS AND PREDICTORS OF RESPONSE FOR A TECHNOLOGY-BASED READING INTERVENTION IN THE HOME (HBN-EDUCATE)
A prompt intervention is pivotal when it comes to reading disabilities, yet it is often accessible only through clinical services and at prohibitive costs for many families. Our lab actively collaborates with the Child Mind Institute to offer the Healthy Brain Network-EDUCATE combined program, that offers at-home, online interventions for reading and math, a diagnostic consultation, and comprehensive evaluations, all at no-cost. NYC Metro-area kids aged 6-11 may qualify to enroll. To learn more please reach out to 646-595-1677 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
IMAGING GENETICS IN SRD: MEGA- AND META-ANALYSES
Relationships between genome and behavior must be routed through the brain, as such imaging-genetics studies are a pivotal resource to investigate neurodevelopmental disorders (such as Specific Reading Disabilities – SRD). Yet, the field of imaging genetics appears to be dominated by replication failures and small sample sizes. Furthermore, GWAS studies typically find that previously identified candidate genes explain a small amount of genetic variance (i.e. the missing heritability problem). Our lab is leading an international collaboration (involving USA and European investigators) to build a collaborative dataset and perform cutting-edge white matter analyses in combination with forward (candidate genes) and reverse (GWAS) imaging-genetics analyses of SRD that test the endophenotypic nature of structural and functional neural correlates.
NEUROCHEMISTRY AS A MODERATOR OF BRAIN NETWORKS FOR LANGUAGE AND LITERACY LEARNING
In this project, we explore potential relationships between brain structure, function, neurochemistry, behavior, and genetics. This project includes EEG, MRI, and MRS neuroimaging measures, a variety of behavioral assessments, and genotyping. The goal of this research is to better understand the causes of reading disability, especially dyslexia to more accurately capture what is happening in the dyslexic brain. One hypothesis of particular interest is the neural noise hypothesis, originally forwarded by collaborators on the project, which posits that neurochemical differences in those with reading disabilities might be important to their behavior. In previous studies, and in this project, we look at chemicals in the brain like Glutamate, a chemical which helps your brain to “turn on”, Gaba, which helps your brain to “turn off”, and others like Choline used in neurotransmission and brain structure development to assess atypicalities between typical and reading impaired participants. Understanding the chemistry of the brain is an important link between genetics, brain structure, brain function, and behavior. This project helps to elucidate the role of neurochemistry in the relationship between gene, brain, and behavior.
NEUROBIOLOGICAL SIGNATURES OF PERCEPTION AND INTEGRATION OF AV SPEECH IN CHILDREN IN ASD
Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been reported to be less influenced by a speaker’s face during speech perception than those with typical development. In collaboration with Dr. Julia Irwin, our lab has used EEG and eye tracking to better understand the relationships between visual attention and audiovisual processing during speech perception in these populations.