Category: Reading and Language Development and Disorders

New NIH-funded study of brain structure in dyslexia

September 1st, 2018

The Perrachione Lab has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study differences in brain anatomy in individuals with dyslexia. This project will study a collection of brain scans from over 1,200 children and adults with dyslexia or typical reading. Using these brain scans, we will determine whether any features of brain anatomy (such as morphology, morphometry, and cortical geometry) are related to reading ability or reading impairment.

Brian scans showing single or reduplicated Heschl's gyrus.

Brain scans showing differences in gross cortical morphology of the temporal lobe. The top row shows a brain with a single convolution of Heschl’s gyrus (H1); the bottom row shows a different brain with a dual convolution (reduplication) of this gyrus (H2). (PT, planum temporale). This study will examine wither this, or any other anatomical feature, is associated with development of reading skills.

Led by the Perrachione Lab at BU, a nation-wide team of collaborators are contributing to this project, including scientists at MIT, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, the University of Delaware, Northwestern University, and the University of Washington. This project is supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Title: “Cortical development and neuroanatomical anomalies in developmental dyslexia.”
Project Number: R03HD096098
Read more information about this grant on NIH RePORTER

Mapping clinical tests of language and working memory at SNL 2018

August 15th, 2018

Terri Scott, CNRLab member and PhD candidate in Neuroscience, presented her new research on the brain bases of nonword repetition - an important clinical assessment of language skills - at the recent meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language in Quebec City. Terri discovered that the parts of the brain responsible for nonword repetition are also recruited for both language processing and working memory.

Scott, T.L., Dougherty, S.C., Choi, J.Y. & Perrachione, T.K. (2018). “Nonword repetition recruits distinct and overlapping nodes of language and working memory networks.10th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language (Quebec City, August 2018).

Dyslexia Paradox

October 25th, 2017

Differences in how the brain adapts to sights and sounds could be at the root of reading disorders. Read the full story from Inside Sargent.


Dyslexia and the brain: A problem with rapid neural adaptation

December 21st, 2016


Our new findings, published today in Neuron, reveal that the brains of children and adults with dyslexia show less rapid neural adaptation than the brains of typical readers. Rapid neural adaptation is a kind of learning that the brain does in just a few seconds to make perception more efficient. A dysfunction of rapid neural adaptation may make it difficult for individuals with dyslexia to coordinate the demanding neural plasticity involved in learning to read.

CNRLab projects featured on WBUR: “11 Young Neuroscientists Share Their Cutting-Edge Research”

June 17th, 2014

Our ongoing research on the brain bases of language processing and language impairment was recently focused on Boston's NPR station: WBUR 90.9. In this video, Dr. Perrachione describes the lab's research using cutting-edge neuroimaging technologies like fMRI to help unravel the brain bases of language and memory.

See all the videos: 11 Young Neuroscientists Share Their Cutting-Edge Research

Dyslexia also affects the ability to recognize voices

August 1st, 2011

Although dyslexia is well known as a disorder that affects the development of typical reading ability, research from Dr. Tyler Perrachione (Principal Investigator of the Communication Neuroscience Research Laboratory at BU) and colleagues has revealed that individuals with dyslexia also have trouble learning to recognize voices compared to their peers with typical reading ability.  Learn more about this research from these sources: