Predominance of lateral over vertical mirror errors in reading: A case for neuronal recycling and inhibition

Prédominance d'erreurs de lecture des lettres miroirs latérales plutôt que verticales: un cas pour le recyclage neuronal et l'inhibition

SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE / ARTICLE SCIENTIFIQUE

Ahr, E., Houdé, O., & Borst, G. (2017). Predominance of lateral over vertical mirror errors in reading: A case for neuronal recycling and inhibition. Brain and Cognition116, 1-8.

DOI: 10.1016/j.bandc.2017.03.005

Abstract

We investigated whether lateral mirror errors could be more prevalent than vertical mirror errors (e.g., p/q vs. p/b confusions) because mirror generalization is harder to inhibit for the discrimination of a reversible letter and its lateral than its vertical mirror-image counterpart. Expert adult readers performed a negative priming task in which they determined on the prime whether two letters and on the probe whether two objects facing opposite directions were identical. We found in both experiments longer response times for objects facing opposite lateral orientations preceded by a reversible letter and its lateral mirror-image counterpart (e.g., p/q) than preceded by perceptually matched non-reversible letters (e.g., g/j). No negative priming effect was observed when objects that were vertical (Experiment 1 & 2) or lateral (Experiment 2) mirror images of each other were preceded by a letter and its vertical mirror-image counterpart (e.g. p/b). Finally, we observed longer response times for objects that were lateral mirror images of each other after lateral than after vertical reversible letters. These results suggest that lateral mirror errors are more prevalent than vertical ones because mirror generalization might be stronger and thus more difficult to inhibit in the context of the former than the latter.

Keywords
Mirror errors; Inhibition; Neuronal recycling; Mirror generalization; Reading

 

Socioeconomic background linked to reading improvement / Le milieu socioéconomique de l'enfant lié à sa progression en lecture

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(see related scientific article below / voir l'article scientifique correspondant plus bas)

Science Daily
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Socioeconomic background linked to reading improvement

Dyslexic children from lower-income families benefit more from summer reading intervention

Summary
Neuroscientists have found that dyslexic children from lower income families responded much better to a summer reading program than children from a higher socioeconomic background. Using MRI data, the team also found anatomical changes in the brains of children whose reading abilities improved -- in particular, a thickening of the cortex in parts of the brain known to be involved in reading.

Résumé
Des neuroscientifiques ont trouvé que des enfants dyslexiques issus de milieux socioéconomiques désavantagés amélioraient davantage leurs compétences en lecture lors de programmes d'été que leurs pairs issus de milieux avantagés. À l'aide de l'IRM, cette équipe de chercheurs a également trouvé des changements anatomiques dans le cerveau des enfants dont les compétences en lecture s'étaient améliorées - en particulier, un épaississement du cortex dans les régions cérébrales reconnues pour être impliquées lors de la lecture.


SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE / ARTICLE SCIENTIFIQUE

 

Socioeconomic status and reading disability: Neuroanatomy and plasticity in response to intervention

Romeo, R. R., Christodoulou, J. A., Halverson, K. K., Murtagh, J., Cyr, A. B., Schimmel, C., ... & Gabrieli, J. D. (2017). Socioeconomic Status and Reading Disability: Neuroanatomy and Plasticity in Response to Intervention. Cerebral Cortex, 1-16. (Advanced Online Publication)

Abstract

Although reading disability (RD) and socioeconomic status (SES) are independently associated with variation in reading ability and brain structure/function, the joint influence of SES and RD on neuroanatomy and/or response to intervention is unknown. In total, 65 children with RD (ages 6–9) with diverse SES were assigned to an intensive, 6-week summer reading intervention (n = 40) or to a waiting-list control group (n = 25). Before and after, all children completed standardized reading assessments and magnetic resonance imaging to measure cortical thickness. At baseline, higher SES correlated with greater vocabulary and greater cortical thickness in bilateral perisylvian and supramarginal regions—especially in left pars opercularis. Within the intervention group, lower SES was associated with both greater reading improvement and greater cortical thickening across broad, bilateral occipitotemporal and temporoparietal regions following the intervention. Additionally, treatment responders (n = 20), compared with treatment nonresponders (n = 19), exhibited significantly greater cortical thickening within similar regions. The waiting control and nonresponder groups exhibited developmentally typical, nonsignificant cortical thinning during this time period. These findings indicate that effective summer reading intervention is coupled with cortical growth, and is especially beneficial for children with RD who come from lower-SES home environments.

Neuroeducation special issue in Prospects journal / Numéro spécial de neuroéducation dans la revue Prospects

Brain science, education and learning: Making connections

Click here to access special issue / Cliquer ici pour accéder au numéro spécial

Editorial

Brain science, education, and learning: Making connections

P. T. M. Marope (pp. 187-190)

Download PDF (302KB)

 

Neuroscience, psychology, and society: Translating research to improve learning

Allison Master, Andrew N. Meltzoff, Roberto Lent (pp. 191-198)

 

The various forms of neuroplasticity: Biological bases of learning and teaching

Fernanda Tovar-Moll, Roberto Lent (pp. 199-213)

 

Building bridges between psychological science and education: Cultural stereotypes, STEM, and equity

Allison Master, Andrew N. Meltzoff (pp. 215-234)

 

Effects of enriched auditory experience on infants’ speech perception during the first year of life

T. Christina Zhao, Patricia K. Kuhl (pp. 235-247)

Download PDF (2516KB)

 

Physiology and assessment as low-hanging fruit for education overhaul

Sidarta Ribeiro, Natália Bezerra Mota, Valter da Rocha Fernandes…(pp. 249-264)

 

The biological side of social determinants: Neural costs of childhood poverty

Sebastián J. Lipina (pp. 265-280)

 

How neuroendocrinology can contribute to early childhood education and care: Cortisol as a supplementary indicator of quality

Amedeo D’Angiulli, Kylie Schibli (pp. 281-299)

 

Cognitive abilities that mediate SES’s effect on elementary mathematics learning: The Uruguayan tablet-based intervention

Juan Valle-Lisboa, Álvaro Cabana, Robert Eisinger, Álvaro Mailhos… (pp. 301-315)

When students pay attention in class, their brains are in sync / Quand les élèves portent attention en classe, leurs cerveaux se synchronisent

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(see related scientific article below / voir l'article scientifique correspondant plus bas)

Science Daily
Click here to access outreach article / Cliquer ici pour accéder à cet article de vulgarisation

When students pay attention in class, their brains are in sync

Summary
When people in a group are engaged with each other and with the world around them, their brainwaves show similar patterns. That's the conclusion of researchers who used portable EEG to simultaneously record brain activity from a class of high school students over the course of a semester as they went about their classroom activities. The findings highlight the promise of investigating the neuroscience of group interactions in real-world settings.

Résumé
Quand des individus d'un même groupe interagissent entre eux et avec leur environnement immédiat, leurs ondes cérébrales présentent des patterns semblables. Il s'agit là d'une conclusion de chercheurs qui ont utilisé des systèmes EEG portatifs pour enregistrer l'activité cérébrale d'une classe d'élèves du secondaire durant leurs activités scolaires normales, tout le long d'un semestre. Les résultats mettent de l'avant le potentiel d'étudier du point de vue neuroscientifique les interactions de groupe en contexte réel. 


SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE / ARTICLE SCIENTIFIQUE

Brain-to-brain synchrony tracks real-world dynamic group interactions in the classroom

Dikker, S., Wan, L., Davidesco, I., Kaggen, L., Oostrik, M., McClintock, J., ... & Poeppel, D. (2017). Brain-to-brain synchrony tracks real-world dynamic group interactions in the classroom. Current Biology27(9), 1375-1380.

DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.04.002

Highlights

  • We report a real-world group EEG study, in a school, during normal class activities /
    Rapport d'une étude par EEG en contexte réel, dans une école, pendant les activités scolaires normales
  • EEG was recorded from 12 students simultaneously, repeated over 11 sessions / 
    L'EEG a été enregistré sur 12 élèves simultanément, répété sur 11 séances
     
  • Students’ brain-to-brain group synchrony predicts classroom engagement /
    La synchronie cerveau-à-cerveau du groupe d'élèves prédit l'attention en classe
     
  • Students’ brain-to-brain group synchrony predicts classroom social dynamics /
    La synchronie cerveau-à-cerveau du groupe d'élèves prédit les dynamiques sociales en classe

Summary

The human brain has evolved for group living. Yet we know so little about how it supports dynamic group interactions that the study of real-world social exchanges has been dubbed the “dark matter of social neuroscience”. Recently, various studies have begun to approach this question by comparing brain responses of multiple individuals during a variety of (semi-naturalistic) tasks. These experiments reveal how stimulus properties, individual differences, and contextual factors may underpin similarities and differences in neural activity across people. However, most studies to date suffer from various limitations: they often lack direct face-to-face interaction between participants, are typically limited to dyads, do not investigate social dynamics across time, and, crucially, they rarely study social behavior under naturalistic circumstances. Here we extend such experimentation drastically, beyond dyads and beyond laboratory walls, to identify neural markers of group engagement during dynamic real-world group interactions. We used portable electroencephalogram (EEG) to simultaneously record brain activity from a class of 12 high school students over the course of a semester (11 classes) during regular classroom activities. A novel analysis technique to assess group-based neural coherence demonstrates that the extent to which brain activity is synchronized across students predicts both student class engagement and social dynamics. This suggests that brain-to-brain synchrony is a possible neural marker for dynamic social interactions, likely driven by shared attention mechanisms. This study validates a promising new method to investigate the neuroscience of group interactions in ecologically natural settings.

Get off the couch! Exercise your way to a healthy brain / Faire de l'exercice pour un cerveau plus en santé

OUTREACH ARTICLE / ARTICLE DE VULGARISATION

Nagamatsu, L. (2017). Get off the couch! Exercise your way to a healthy brain. Frontiers for Young Minds, 5(20), 1-6.

DOI: 10.3389/frym.2017.00020

Abstract

We all know that physical activity is good for the heart and lungs, but is it also good for the brain? Research has shown that regular physical activity can boost brain performance in various different kinds of people, from children and young adults to older adults at-risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. These improvements in brain performance can be measured by tests of memory, thinking, and attention. It is thought that physical activity improves brain performance by changing both the way the brain functions and its size, a process known as neuroplasticity. In particular, physical activity may increase the size of a part of the brain called the hippocampus—the brain’s memory center. Importantly, the benefits of physical activity on the brain are seen at all ages, which means it is never too late to start exercising to help the brain. This research shows that being physically active may be an enjoyable way to help you improve your grades at school now and to keep your brain healthy throughout your life.