Relationship of Early Brain Connections and Development

A recent study finds new imaging technology may have the potential to help identify children at risk for dyslexia.

Zeynep Saygin, MIT Postdoc at McGovern Institute for Brain Research, says there has been progress in distinguishing the area of the brain specialized for reading and the particular connections made for these functions. To further the study, children were scanned once at five years old before development of reading skills and post-reading at eight years old. By using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), they measured the brain activity of the children while reading and utilized diffusion-weighted imaging to pinpoint connections in the brain. Though researchers still do not fully understand the early connections made in the cortex, they have discovered the uniqueness of the visual word form area (VWFA) and can predict its location. With this new research, they hope to pursue wider development of technologies to help diagnose dyslexia and other reading differences.

Read more at Science Daily.