Recent research on dyslexia and other learning disabilities

When I started working with students who have learning disabilities back in 1990, the research on dyslexia was really starting to take off. Researchers have recently been able to pinpoint the sections of the brain that were involved through fMRI images and to determine which ones were effective and which ones weren’t. This research was invaluable to me as I began my career.

This research continues today, and advances in technology allow for even closer investigation into the actual brain processing involved in learning. There is still a wealth of exciting research being done on how the brain processes language – for reading and spelling, for language comprehension, and for visual-spatial thinking.  Our new bibliography lists some of the latest research in these areas – research we rely on to inform our decision-making as we continue to adjust our methodologies to provide the best possible treatments for our students. We invite you to take a look.


Phonological Processing:

Torgesen, J. K. (2006). Recent Discoveries from Research on Remedial Interventions for Children with Dyslexia.  Florida State University and the Florida Center for Reading Research.

Alexander, A. W., & Slinger-Constant, A. M. (2004). Current status of treatments for dyslexia: Critical review.Journal of Child Neurology, 19(10), 744-758.

Sally Shaywitz, M.D. (2003). Overcoming Dyslexia – A new and complete science-based program for reading problems at any level.  New York, NY: Vintage Books.

Meyler, A., Keller, T.A., Cherkassky, V.L., Gabrieli, J.E.E., & Just, M.A. (2008).  Modifying the brain activation of poor readers during sentence comprehension with extended remedial instruction: A longitudinal study of neuroplasticity. Neuropsychologia, 46, 2580-2592.

Torgesen, J.K., Alexander, A.W., Wagner, R.K., Rashotte, C.A., Voeller, K.K.S.,  & Conway, T. (2001). Intensive Remedial Instruction for Children with Severe Reading Disabilities: Immediate and Long-term Outcomes from Two Instructional Approaches.  Journal of Learning Disabilities, 34 (1), January/February.

Krafnick, A.J., Flowers, D.L., Napoliello, E.M., & Eden, G.F. (2011). Gray matter volume changes following reading intervention in dyslexic children.  Neuroimage, 57, 733-741.

Vaughn, S., Wanzek, J. (2014). Intensive Interventions in Reading for Students with Reading Disabilities: Meaningful Impacts.  Learning disabilities Research & Practice, 29(2), 46-53.

Louisa C. Moats & Karen E. Dakin. (2008). Basic Facts About Dyslexia and Other Reading Problems. Baltimore, MD: International Dyslexia Association.

Visual Motor Processing:

Britt Neff, Julie Neff-Lippman, & Carol Stockdale. (2002). The Source for Visual-Spatial disorders.  East Moline, IL: LinguiSystems.

Just, M.A., Newman, S.D., Keller, T.A., McEleney, A., & Carpenter, P.A. (2004).  Imagery in sentence comprehension: an fMRI study. Neuroimage, 21, 112-124.

Mental Imagery training for language comprehension:

Joffe, V.L., Cain, K., & Maric, N. (2007). Comprehension problems in children with specific language impairment: does mental imagery training help? International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 42, 648-664.

Just, M.A., Newman, S.D., Keller, T.A., McEleney, A., & Carpenter, P.A. (2004).  Imagery in sentence comprehension: an fMRI study. Neuroimage, 21, 112-124.

Oakhill, J., Yuill, N., & Garnham, A. (2011). The differential relations between verbal, numerical and spatial working memory abilities and children’s reading comprehension. International  Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 4(1), 83-106.

Murdaugh, Donna L., Despande, Hrishikesh D., & Kana, Rajesh K. (2015). The Impact of Reading Intervention on Brain Responses Underlying Language in Children With Autism. International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Landerl, K., Fussenegger, B., Moll, K., & Willburger, E. (2009). Dyslexia and dyscalculia: Two learning disorders with different cognitive profiles.  Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 103(3), 309-324.

Kucian, K., Grond, U., Rotzer, S., Henzi B., Schonmann, C., Plangger, F., Galli, M., Martin, E., & von Aster, M. (2011). Mental number line training in children with developmental dyscalculia. Neuroimage, 57, 782-795.

Fischer, B., Gebhardt, C., & Hartnegg, K. (2008). Subitizing and Visual Counting in Children with Problems in Acquiring Basic Arithmetic Skills. Optometry & Vision Development 39(1), 24-29.

Libertus, M.E., Feigneson, L., & Halberda, J. (2011). Preschool acuity of the approximate number system correlates with school math ability. Developmental Science, 14(6), 1292-1300.?

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