The READ Study is a collaboration between the Gabrieli Lab at MIT and the Gaab Lab at Boston Children's Hospital. Our goal is to understand how brain differences in kindergarten children might predict their reading ability in 2nd grade. Today, reading problems usually are not diagnosed until 2nd grade or even much later, but brain imaging may help us to identify which children could benefit from early intervention aimed at preventing reading difficulties.

Our study is funded by a 5-year grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). We work with 19 partner schools in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including public (district and charter), private, and religious schools. Children in kindergarten or pre-K at these schools complete a short screening assessment. A subset of these children of varying pre-reading abilities are invited to participate in the brain imaging part of the study. Then, these children return for follow-up assessment at the end of 1st and 2nd grade.

As of summer 2014, we have screened over 1,400 children and more than 180 have come to MIT for brain imaging! Our first waves of kindergartners have completed 1st grade and their first follow up visits. Thank you to all the families who have participated!

For questions or more information about the study, please email us at JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING or contact Dr. Elizabeth Norton at 617-324-5304.


Elizabeth Norton, Sara Beach and Prof. John Gabrieli recently wrote a review of the Neurobiology of Dyslexia in the journal Current Opinion in Neurobiology. Read the COiN paper here

We recently published a paper with data from the READ Study in The Journal of Neuroscience. MIT News has a feature that explains more about the study and features a video about the findings. Read the MIT news article

The study was also featured in the news, including the BBC (Read the BBC article) and several other sources.

Thank you to all the READ Study schools and families for participating in this exciting research!

Partner Schools

Edward W. Brooke Charter Schools, Boston MA

Cheverus School, Malden MA

Cunniff Elementary, Watertown MA

Gloucester Community Arts Charter School, Gloucester MA

Hosmer Elementary, Watertown MA

Immaculate Conception School, Lowell MA

Lowell Elementary, Watertown MA

Neighborhood House Charter School, Dorchester MA

Peabody Elementary, Cambridge MA

Sacred Heart School, Roslindale MA

Saint John School, Wellesley MA

Saint Raphael School, Medford MA

Saint Joseph School, Haverhill MA

Saint Joseph School, Holbrook MA

Saint Joseph School, Wakefield MA

Tewksbury Public Schools, Tewksbury MA

The Wheeler School, Providence RI

Tower Day School, Lynnfield MA

Who we are

Principal Investigators

Nadine Gaab, PhD (Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience, Boston Children's Hospital)

John Gabrieli, PhD (McGovern Institute for Brain Research and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT)

Post-Doctoral Associate

Elizabeth Norton, PhD (MIT)

Study Coordinators/Technical Assistants

Sara Beach, MS, EdM (MIT)

Abbie Cyr, AB (MIT)

Ola Ozernov-Palchik, MS (Children's/Tufts)

Anne Park, BA (MIT)

Sydney Robinson, BA (MIT)

Additional information