Jason Yeatman, Ph.D.
The overarching goal of my lab’s research is to understand the neural mechanisms that underlie the process of learning to read, and how these mechanisms differ in children with dyslexia. We use a collection of structural and function neuroimaging measurements to study how a child’s experience with reading instruction shapes the development of brain circuits that are specialized for this unique cognitive function. There are two sides to this work. On the one hand, advances in non-invasive, quantitative brain imaging technologies are opening a new window into the mechanisms that underlie learning. For children with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, we hope to develop personalized intervention programs that are tailored to a child’s unique pattern of brain maturation. On the other hand, educational interventions provide a powerful tool for understanding how environmental factors shape brain development. Following children longitudinally through education programs is a means to understand basic principles of plasticity and brain development.