Rehabilitation Medicine-Communication Sciences and Disorders
University of Alberta
Summary of research:
Recent reports from Statistics Canada state that 42% of Canadians do not have the necessary literacy skills to keep up with today’s electronic society (Desjardins, Murray, Clermont, & Wequin, 2005). The cost to raise the average literacy rate of Canadian by 1%, corresponds to $18 billion dollars (Coulombe, Trembley, & Marchant, 2004), and doesn’t include the additional costs associated with the subsequent mental health disorders, which often co-occur with reading impairments. Such reports underscore the current need for innovative and novel approaches to studying reading and reading disabilities. Each of the projects outlined above aim to refine the neurobiological basis of reading and reading impairment through a characterization of the neural signature of reading and reading disability. We implement novel techniques to study the brain networks associated with various aspects of reading. While it is well known that reading requires the engagement of multiple brain regions (i.e., to recognize letters, sounds, ect.), how these regions coordinate and synchronize to produce an effective and efficient system has yet to be explored. Finally, we are using this information to develop potential remediation approaches for individuals struggling with reading proficiency.