The READ Study

 In Past Research Projects

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 the 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!

Publications and News

Early development of letter specialization in left fusiform is associated with better word reading and smaller fusiform face area. Centanni, T.M., Norton, E.S., Park, A., Beach, S.D., Halverson, K., Ozernov‐Palchik, O., Gaab, N. and Gabrieli, J.D. Developmental Science. 2018. p.e12658.

Longitudinal stability of pre‐reading skill profiles of kindergarten children: implications for early screening and theories of reading. Ozernov‐Palchik, O., Norton, E. S., Sideridis, G., Beach, S. D., Wolf, M., Gabrieli, J. D., & Gaab, N. Developmental Science. 2017. 20(5), e12471.

Connectivity precedes function in the development of the visual word form area. Saygin, Z.M., Osher, D.E., Norton, E.S., Youssoufian, D.A., Beach, S.D., Feather, J., Gaab, N., Gabrieli, J.D. and Kanwisher, N. Nature Neuroscience. 2016. 19(9), p.1250.

Tracking the roots of reading ability: white matter volume and integrity correlate with phonological awareness in prereading and early-reading kindergarten children. Saygin, Z.M., Norton, E.S., Osher, D.E., Beach, S.D., Cyr, A.B., Ozernov-Palchik, O., Yendiki, A., Fischl, B., Gaab, N. and Gabrieli, J.D. Journal of Neuroscience. 2013. 33(33), pp.13251-13258.

Brain scans may help diagnose dyslexia

Past Projects & Research Interests

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