$9 million grant awarded to UH to study, treat learning disabilitiesApril 19, 2012
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a five-year, $9 million grant to the University of Houston's Texas Center for Learning Disabilities to conduct research on the causes and treatment of learning disabilities in children and adolescents. UH is one of four universities nationally to receive funding from the NIH for a learning disability research center.
The substantial number of today's adolescents struggling with weak literacy skills presents an urgent national concern, yet little is known about reading disabilities beyond the early elementary grades. This award enables UH to address this critical gap in knowledge by funding the continuation of the multidisciplinary research center at the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities and four new research projects involving older elementary school-aged children in fourth and fifth grades with reading problems.
"The Texas Center for Learning Disabilities, headed by Jack Fletcher in the department of psychology, successfully competed for a renewal of funding following an initial five-year run that was extremely successful," said David Francis, a Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor and chair of the department of psychology and one of many collaborators on the project. "This new $9 million award will run over the next five years and highlights the significance of the work being directed at UH that is focused on understanding and treating learning disabilities."
Learning disabilities are disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements or direct attention. Although learning disabilities occur in very young children, the disorders are usually not recognized until the child reaches school age and can be lifelong conditions. It is crucial to recognize and treat these challenges as soon as possible to ensure long-term success in the education of the child.
"Learning disabilities are a major public health problem that affect the educational and social outcomes of children and adults," said Fletcher, also a Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor in the department of psychology and the principal investigator for the grant. "The goal of the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities is to bring together a wide range of experts across disciplines to research children with reading comprehension difficulties, understand the cause behind learning disabilities in the brain and improve on diagnosis, intervention and treatment."
In addition to researching the identification, intervention and treatment of learning disabilities, a unique component of the UH research includes neuroimaging of the brains of children to study the relationship of reading instruction and brain function and how the brain changes when children develop reading interventions.
Research from the first five years at the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities led to a new direction with the current research. Previous research focused on younger ages in first and second grade. In the new research studies, the focus is on fourth and fifth grade, Fletcher said.
"Researchers have made great progress in understanding how children learn to read text and how to help when they have difficulties," said Brett Miller, director of Reading, Writing and Related Learning Disabilities Programs in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. "But it's also important that we learn how individuals develop understanding of what they read, and so the new centers will focus on reading."
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 39,500 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.
University of Houston
Related Brain Articles:
Researchers compared the thickness of brain cortex in patients with brain tumors before and after radiation therapy was applied and found significant dose-dependent changes in the structural properties of cortical neural networks, at both the local and global level.
Using a sophisticated type of mathematics in a way that it has never been used before in neuroscience, a team from the Blue Brain Project has uncovered a universe of multi-dimensional geometrical structures and spaces within the networks of the brain.
Researchers have developed a new device to map the brain during surgery and distinguish between healthy and diseased tissues.
Scientists have today published ground-breaking scans of newborn babies' brains which researchers from all over the world can download and use to study how the human brain develops.
A new test using peripheral vision reaction time could lead to earlier diagnosis and more effective treatment of mild traumatic brain injury, often referred to as a concussion.
Religious and spiritual experiences activate the brain reward circuits in much the same way as love, sex, gambling, drugs and music, report researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
'Practice makes perfect' is a common saying. We all have experienced that the initially effortful implementation of novel tasks is becoming rapidly easier and more fluent after only a few repetitions.
A team of scientists has extended the balanced network model to provide deep and testable predictions linking brain circuits to brain activity.
Spikes in neuronal activity in young mice do not spur corresponding boosts in blood flow -- a discovery that stands in stark contrast to the adult mouse brain.
The brains of teenagers with serious antisocial behavior problems differ significantly in structure to those of their peers, providing the clearest evidence to date that their behavior stems from changes in brain development in early life, according to new research led by the University of Cambridge and the University of Southampton, in collaboration with the University of Rome Tor Vergata in Italy.
Related Brain Reading:
The Brain: The Story of You
by David Eagleman (Author)
Locked in the silence and darkness of your skull, your brain fashions the rich narratives of your reality and your identity. Join renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman for a journey into the questions at the mysterious heart of our existence. What is reality? Who are “you”? How do you make decisions? Why does your brain need other people? How is technology poised to change what it means to be human? In the course of his investigations, Eagleman guides us through the world of extreme sports, criminal justice, facial expressions, genocide, brain surgery, gut feelings, robotics, and the... View Details
Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life
by David Perlmutter (Author), Kristin Loberg (Contributor)
The bestselling author of Grain Brain uncovers the powerful role of gut bacteria in determining your brain's destiny.
Debilitating brain disorders are on the rise-from children diagnosed with autism and ADHD to adults developing dementia at younger ages than ever before. But a medical revolution is underway that can solve this problem: Astonishing new research is revealing that the health of your brain is, to an extraordinary degree, dictated by the state of your microbiome - the vast population of organisms that live in your body and outnumber your own cells... View Details
Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers
by David Perlmutter (Author), Kristin Loberg (Contributor)
A #1 New York Times bestseller--the devastating truth about the effects of wheat, sugar, and carbs on the brain, with a 4-week plan to achieve optimum health.
Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, blows the lid off a topic that's been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more. Dr. Perlmutter explains what happens when the brain encounters common... View Details
The Human Brain Coloring Book (Coloring Concepts Series)
by Marian C. Diamond (Author), Arnold B. Scheibel (Author)
Developed by internationally renowned neurosurgeons, this unique book is designed for students of psychology and the biological sciences, and medical, dental, and nursing students. View Details
The Brain: All about Our Nervous System and More!
by Seymour Simon (Author)
The human brain is behind everything you do. From taking your first step to creating the computer, this vital organ gives humans the ability to learn and adapt to an ever-changing world. Learn all about your amazing, versatile brain with award-winning science writer Seymour Simon.View Details
The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramon y Cajal
by Larry W. Swanson (Author), Eric Newman (Author), Alfonso Araque (Author), Janet M. Dubinsky (Author)
At the crossroads of art and science, Beautiful Brain presents Nobel Laureate Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s contributions to neuroscience through his groundbreaking artistic brain imagery.
Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852–1934) was the father of modern neuroscience and an exceptional artist. He devoted his life to the anatomy of the brain, the body’s most complex and mysterious organ. His superhuman feats of visualization, based on fanatically precise techniques and countless hours at the microscope, resulted in some of the most remarkable illustrations in the... View Details
The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science
by Norman Doidge (Author)
An astonishing new science called "neuroplasticity" is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable. In this revolutionary look at the brain, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, M.D., provides an introduction to both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they've transformed. From stroke patients learning to speak again to the remarkable case of a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, The Brain That Changes Itself will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human... View Details
My First Book About the Brain (Dover Children's Science Books)
by Patricia J. Wynne (Author), Donald M. Silver (Author)
Winner of a Bronze 2014 Moonbeam Children's Book Award!
Discover the workings of the body's most complex organ! How does the brain control the rest of the body? How does it enable the senses to function, regulate speech, affect balance, and influence sleep and dreams? These 25 illustrations to color explain every aspect of the brain's important jobs, from communicating with the central nervous system to retaining memories. Suitable for ages 8–12. View Details
Switch On Your Brain Workbook: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health
by Dr. Caroline Leaf (Author)
We all want to be more at peace, to be happier and healthier, but we often don't know how to go about it. Everything we try seems to fall short of true change. Dr. Caroline Leaf knows that we cannot change anything until we change our thinking. This follow-up to her bestselling book will help readers apply the science and wisdom of Switch On Your Brain to their daily lives so that they can detox their thinking and experience improved happiness and health.
Each of the keys in the Switch On Your Brain Workbook pairs science with Scripture, asking penetrating personal... View Details
The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity
by Norman Doidge (Author)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The New York Times–bestselling author of The Brain That Changes Itself presents astounding advances in the treatment of brain injury and illness. Now in an updated and expanded paperback edition.
Winner of the 2015 Gold Nautilus Award in Science & Cosmology
In his groundbreaking work The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge introduced readers to neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to change its own structure and function in response to activity and mental experience. Now his revolutionary... View Details