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A-108: Neurobehavioral Mechanisms in Reading Comprehension.
Donald Shankweiler, PI
Dave Braze
Erica Davis
James Magnuson
Einar Mencl
Ken Pugh
Whitney Tabor
Julie Van Dyke

Research Goals. The research plan is to identify sources of reading-related difficulties in sentence comprehension that are most subject to individual differences, and to study their cognitive and neural underpinnings. The investigators are using an eyetracker to study comprehension on-line in adolescents with greater and lesser comprehension ability. fMRI is used to expose brain activity during reading. Finally computational modeling is being used to predict behavioral and neural patterns.

Current Status. The project was approved for funding on March 1, 2002 for three years. It was renewed for five years beginning 5/15/06.  Total costs for the second year are $435,743.


Braze, D., Shankweiler, D. P., Ni, W., & Palumbo, L. C. (2002). Readers' Eye
Movements Distinguish Anomalies of Form and Content. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 31(1), 25-44.
Constable, R. T., Pugh, K. R., Berroya, E., Mencl, W. E., Westerveld, M.,
Ni, W., & Shankweiler, D. (2004). Sentence complexity and input modality effects in sentence comprehension: An fMRI study. NeuroImage, 22(1), 11-21.
Shankweiler, D., & Fowler, A. E. (2004). Questions people ask about the role
of phonological processes in learning to read. Reading and Writing, 17(5), 483-515.
Tabor, W., & Hutchins, S. (2004). Evidence for Self-Organized Sentence
Processing: Digging In Effects. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 30(2), 431-450.
Braze, D., Tabor, W., Shankweiler, D. P., & Mencl, W. E. (2007). Speaking Up
for Vocabulary: Reading Skill Differences in Young Adults. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 40(3), 226-243.
Magnuson, J. S., Tanenhaus, M. K., & Aslin, R. N. (2008). Immediate effects
of form-class constraints on spoken word recognition. Cognition, 108(3), 866-873.
Mirman, D., Dixon, J. A., & Magnuson, J. S. (2008). Statistical and
computational models of the visual world paradigm: Growth curves and individual differences. Journal of Memory and Language, 34(1), 65-79.
Mirman, D., & Magnuson, J. S. (2008). Attractor dynamics and semantic
neighborhood density: processing is slowed by near neighbors and speeded by distant neighbors. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 34(1), 65-79.
Shankweiler, D. P., Mencl, W. E., Braze, D., Tabor, W., Pugh, K. R., &
Fulbright, R. K. (2008). Reading Differences and Brain: Cortical Integration of Speech and Print in Sentence Processing Varies with Reader Skill. Developmental Neuropsychology, 33(6), 745–776.
Mirman, D., & Magnuson, J. S. (2009). Dynamics of activation of semantically
similar concepts during spoken word recognition. Memory & Cognition, 37(7), 1026-1039.

Henin, J., Accorsi, E., Cho, P., & Tabor, W. (2009). Extraordinary Natural
Ability: Anagram Solution as an Extension of Normal Reading Ability, Proceedings of the 31st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Macaruso, P., & Shankweiler, D. (2009). Expanding the Simple View of
Reading in Accounting for Reading Skills in Community College Students. Reading Psychology, in press.
Braze, D., Mencl, W. E., Tabor, W., Pugh, K. R., Constable, R. T.,
Fulbright, R. K., Magnuson, J. S., Van Dyke, J. A., & Shankweiler, D. P. (2009). Unification of Sentence Processing via Ear and Eye: an fMRI study. Cortex, in press.
[This project is supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH Grant HD-40353).]