The Neural Basis of Reading

Cornelissen, Hansen, Kringelbach, Pugh

The following clinical pearls should not be buried in a compilation of scientific papers. This knowledge should be applied to reading instruction. It can also help understand how the process is breaking down for some children.

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Reader, Come Home

 

Marianne Wolf
Reader, Come Home is about the importance of deep reading. It discusses the consequences of the decline in reading deeply on important issues. It explains what is necessary to develop and apply the ability to read deeply. Continue reading

Visual Perception and Who We Are

In The Mind is Flat, Nick Chater uses our flawed intuitions about how we see to question the veracity of the intuition that we have a cognitive subconscious. My review will focus on what Mr. Chater calls “the grand illusion”; our belief that we see much more than we do. Our thoughts and actions are dependent on our perceptions. What we have perceived in the past influences our present perceptions as our current perceptions continue to create who we are and how we will perceive in the future. Illusions can cause us to believe that we are seeing what we know cannot be true. I cannot express this better than the author’s words. Continue reading

Assessment of Silent Reading Efficiency

 

“The Decline of Comprehension-Based Silent Reading Efficiency in the United States: A Comparison of Current Data with Performance in 1960” appeared in Reading Research Quarterly in 2016. While there are endless debates about reading pedagogy, there is consensus that the best way to assess silent reading efficiency is by measuring eye movements. Continue reading

Function alters Structure = Plasticity

In The Road to Character, David Brooks encourages developing good behaviors in children because we become what we do. Everything that we do, experience, see, and think changes our brains, either making new connections or reinforcing established connections. The specific techniques of optometric vision therapy to enhance visual function have been shown to make corresponding changes in the brain.

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Scanning

Scanning is used to find an object, a person, or a word. This is usually simple for most adults, but not always (such as men looking into a refrigerator). As is true for many skills that have become automatic, it is easy to overlook the complexity involved and how difficult it is to learn.

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Scanning requires sequential eye movements and fixations. It requires visualizing the desired object and maintaining that image while looking at other objects. This is particularly challenging if the other objects are either distracting or similar to the object in question. When this is the case, the load on working memory increases and it becomes more difficult. If we are looking for our sneakers, that is one level of challenge. If we are looking for tomato soup amongst other soups or a phrase on a page, that is very different. It can be like singing one song while listening to another. If the eye movements are random, the fixations too brief, or if the visualized image fades, we will not succeed. Scanning requires sustained vigilance.

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The inability to scan efficiently wastes time and is frustrating. The quality of scanning reflects a person’s organization. They are both disciplined, sequential, and require working memory. Academically, scanning is important when we are copying so we can find our place when looking back-and-forth. It is important when finding information, such as answers to a question in a passage that has been read. If a child needs to start to read a passage over, it will be time-consuming and they will inevitably forget what is was that they were looking for. Scanning requires the integration of top-down processing (keeping the image in working memory and filtering everything else that is seen) and bottom-up processing (directing the eyes with a goal-oriented priority). Scanning is one of the skills developed in optometric vision therapy.

names

Visualization

The Effect of Saccadic Training on Early Reading Fluency

Solutions for your child who struggles in school starts by knowing what to ask your eye doctor

Vision and Learning: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

The American Spirit

David McCullough

After writing his first book which was about the Johnstown flood, David McCullough decided that the stories that he wanted to research and share were about character. His books have shown what is good in people and what can be accomplished especially when people work together, while making sure that we can identify with them by showing that they were also human and, like all of us, had flaws.

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He emphasizes that they did not live in the past; they lived in their present. The American Spirit is a selection of his speeches. Because they were spoken and because they were brief, the messages are explicit. The following are some of his words that caused me to stop and ponder. I hope that they have the same effect on you. Continue reading