Authors: Barquero, Laura Alley.

Article: Predicting Responsiveness to Reading Intervention with fMRI.

Publication: PhD Dissertation (Vanderbilt University). 2015

[Full Text]


Previous studies have shown that some children with reading difficulties (RD) respond well to reading intervention while others do not. The purpose of this study was to examine whether functional neuroimaging prior to intervention could be used to distinguish intervention responders from nonresponders. The participants were 54 children and adolescents (8-14 years of age) who were assigned to groups of RD receiving treatment (RD, n=23), RD waitlisted for treatment (RD-WL, n=16), and typically developing readers receiving no treatment (TD, n=15). The RD and TD participants performed a single word reading task during fMRI scanning prior to intervention. RD participants received 15 hours of intensive reading intervention. Before and after implementation of the treatment, word-level reading measures were administered and word-level growth was used to determine responsiveness status. Whole brain and region of interest (ROI) analyses of reading-related areas both revealed that nonresponders differed from responders, and that nonresponders showed greater dissimilarity from TD than did responders. Multivariate pattern analysis indicated that pre-intervention behavioral measures and functional imaging were comparable in sorting responders and nonresponders.

Tagged as: altbrain, fMRI, and nonresponse

Excerpts from Full Text / Notes:

Of particular interest, the differences that were evident in the reading network when comparing typically achieving controls to Nonresponders were absent in the comparison of typically achieving controls to Responders. This may indicate a lesser deficit at the neurobiological level in Responders, and a more severe and impactful deficit for Nonresponders as indicated by both behavioral and imaging results. In addition, or perhaps alternatively, Responders may have readily shown improvement with the intensive intervention because they had not previously received instruction adequate to their needs, whereas the reading problems of Nonresponders may be truly resistant to evidence-based treatment.

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