Environmental and social influences on reading skills as indexed by brain and behavioral responses

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The research described in this article uses findings from longitudinal studies involving electrophysiological and behavioral assessments of infants and young children. Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) offer a basis for understanding how areas of the brain react to specific stimuli that are thought to play a role in the development of language and reading abilities. In this paper, we review a series of studies that identify markers in the ERPs that are related to differences in the development of language and reading skills. In addition, there is compelling evidence supporting the role of the home environment and other variables that influence the intellectual level of the child's environment (e.g., SES, parental IQ, parenting practices, family activities) in the development of language and reading in preschool and school-aged children. In this paper, measures of these environmental variables are linked with predictions of language and reading skill development. Efforts to integrate information about the influence of the environment on brain responses to better understand the development of early language and reading skills are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-137
Number of pages17
JournalAnnals of Dyslexia
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Speech and Hearing

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