Reading and cognitive abilities: Longitudinal studies of brain and behavior changes in young children

Dennis L. Molfese, Victoria J. Molfese, Sasha Key, Arlene Modglin, Spencer Kelley, Shona Terrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This paper focuses on methods useful for identifying differences in the development of language reading abilities in children that rely on measures of brain responses and behavioral assessments. Findings from longitudinal and cross-sectional studies using brain and behavior measures are described, along with findings from research designed to influence changes in brain and behavioral responses through training. The findings show differences in event-related potentials (ERP) responses recorded at birth that are related to a child's later performance on language and reading tasks. Such findings point to a strong biological influence on the development of language and reading skills. However, other findings show that the influence of biological factors on brain processing can be modified through learning. In fact, several studies show that even brief periods of stimulation and opportunities for learning can produce changes in the brain's ERP repsonses. Such findings suggest that new approaches to evaluating the effectiveness of interventions might change the rate and likelihood of developmental changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-119
Number of pages21
JournalAnnals of Dyslexia
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Speech and Hearing


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