Online M-BIC Lecture: Nadine Gaab
Department of Medicine/Division of Developmental Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Boston, US
The Typical and Atypical Reading Brain: How a Neurobiological Framework of Early Language and Reading Development Can Inform Clinical and Educational Practice/Policy
Learning trajectories are shaped by the dynamic interplay between nature and nurture, which starts in utero and continues throughout the lifespan. Learning differences are often not identified until childhood or adolescence, but diverging trajectories of brain development may be present as early as prenatally. Furthermore, children’s experiences and their interactions with the environment surrounding them have long-lasting influences on the brain development and future outcomes. This talk will primarily focus on learning differences in reading acquisition and will present results from our longitudinal behavioral and neuroimaging studies that characterize differences in learning to read as a complex outcome of cumulative risk and protective factors interacting within and across genetic, neurobiological, cognitive, and environmental levels from infancy to adulthood. Results are discussed within an early multifactorial framework of learning differences with a special emphasis on screening, early identification, and preventive strategies. Finally, the implications of these findings for contemporary challenges in educational and clinical practice, as well as policy, are discussed.