An important recent study reported by scientists from Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Cornell and Rutgers universities (Gaab N, Gabrieli JD, Deutsch GK, Tallal P, Temple E, Restor Neurol Neurosci 25:295-310, 2007) has documented the emergence of more normal brain response patterns resulting from intensive brain plasticity-based training, in children with impairments in language and reading abilities. Significant improvements in language and reading (see Temple et al., PNAS 100:2860-5, 2003) in these special children resulted from their completion of Scientific Learning’s Fast ForWord-Language exercise suite (see www.scientificlearning.com). A large body of earlier studies had already shown that such improvements are at least substantially attributable to training-driven gains in the accuracy and the speed of processing of sound stimuli (improved “temporal processing”).
That conclusion was further supported by these current studies. They showed that a specific region in the lateral frontal cortex was strongly activated in a temporally-demanding sound reception task, in every one of 20 ‘control’ children (Girl and Boy Scouts earning a merit badge who had normal language and reading abilities). By contrast, this frontal cortex zone was <strong>not</strong> significantly activated in <strong>any</strong> of the 20 reading-and-language impaired kids performing the same temporally-demanding task. That’s 20 for 20 vs 0 for 20! It certainly would not be difficult to determine which kids were performing better, in the language arts, in the schoolhouse!
After Fast ForWord training, most of these struggling children a) substantially overcame their impairments in language and reading, and b) <strong>now</strong> had more normal responses evoked while performing these challenging sound reception tasks, in this key frontal cortex region.
Guess whose grades now <strong>improved</strong> in school!