Spring 2019 Course Offering

Course title: The literate brain

Instructor: Kenneth Pugh (pugh@haskins.yale.edu)

Description: The development of reading and writing skills are essential for achieving success in the modern world, yet significant numbers of people from all languages and cultures fail to obtain adequate literacy outcomes.  This course examines the neurobiological and cognitive foundations of reading and writing. Topics covered include recent advances in our understanding of the relationship between speech perception/production and individual differences in literacy learning, systems level research on the distributed neurocircuitry for word reading, text comprehension, second language learning, and the neurobiology of acquired and developmental reading and writing disorders. We will draw heavily on new developmental research from our team at Haskins focused on early neurocognitive precursors of reading difficulties in contrastive languages (including English, Mandarin, Spanish, Finnish, and Dutch). Over the course of the semester students will be able to acquire basic familiarity with new methods for multi-modal human brain mapping, imaging-genetics, and design and analysis tools for tracking developmental changes, and we will critically examine both the promise and the limitations of the current approaches to understanding language and literacy.

Required readings:

The required weekly readings consist of both research articles and theory papers that will be made available on line. In addition, supplementary articles will be assigned as background for class discussions.