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12 6 6 3 3 9 9 1 1 2 2 4 4 5 5 7 7 8 8 11 10 The Power of Neuroplasticity: Enhancing Human Potential Rutgers University, Newark Co-Founder Scientific.

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Presentation on theme: "12 6 6 3 3 9 9 1 1 2 2 4 4 5 5 7 7 8 8 11 10 The Power of Neuroplasticity: Enhancing Human Potential Rutgers University, Newark Co-Founder Scientific."— Presentation transcript:

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2 The Power of Neuroplasticity: Enhancing Human Potential Rutgers University, Newark Co-Founder Scientific Learning Corporation Paula Tallal, Ph.D. Research funded by NIH and NSF

3 News Flash !

4 Our research has focused on understanding the neurobiological basis of language development and disorders. We began our research program with the observation that many children with specific developmental language impairments (SLI) and reading deficits have particular difficulty at the phonological (speech) level of language. Neurobiology of Language

5 Our earliest studies led to the discovery that language impaired children have particular difficulty in both perceiving and producing brief, rapidly successive signals, specifically in the tens of millisecond time range. Neurobiology of Language

6 Children with weak language development can’t sequence 2 tones at rapid presentation rates Tone Duration = 75 msec Tone 1 = 100 Hz, Tone 2 = 300 Hz Tallal & Piercy (1973) Nature.

7 10’s of milliseconds can determine which syllable we hear Many speech sounds (phonemes) differ only by brief spectral and/or temporal changes, specifically within 10’s of milliseconds

8 Steady-state vowel portions of syllables do not incorporate brief spectral or temporal changes Not all speech sounds contain rapid spectrotemporal changes

9 Language impaired children have selective deficits in discriminating those speech sounds that differ by rapidly changing acoustic cues Tallal & Piercy (1974) Neuropsychologia, 12.

10 Speech can be computer modified to slow down the fast acoustic changes

11 Tallal & Piercy (1975) Neuropsychologia, 13. Children with slow language development show significant improvement in syllable discrimination when the fast acoustic changes are extended in time

12 100 ms “say” “stay” Amplitude Time (milliseconds) For speech, 10’s of milliseconds can change the meaning of a word These waveforms are identical except for an inserted 100ms silent gap, yet we hear two different words. In order to be able to read and spell we need to hear these small acoustic differences in words.

13 Rapid auditory processing (RAP) can be studied in infants An operantly conditioned head-turn procedure is used to reward an infant for discriminating a change in a 2-tone sequence

14 No significant group difference in mismatch response at 300ms ISI Infants with LI family history show significantly reduced MMR at 70ms ISI Significant group differences at 70ms ISI occur primarily in left hemisphere Benasich et al.(2002) Dev. Psychobiol Electrophysiological differences (mismatched response - MMR) to rapid tone sequences are observed in infants with a family history of language learning impairment ControlFamily History

15 Subsequent studies discovered that difficulty in both perceiving and producing brief, rapidly successive signals: 1)extended to attention, sequencing and memory problems 2) extended to other populations of struggling learners (ADHD, Autism) Neurobiology of Language

16 Tallal (1980) Brain & Lang. 9. There is a highly significant correlation between nonsense word reading and rapid auditory processing in dyslexics

17 Perceptual weakness Weak phonological representations Learning and academic problems Struggling students Language Literacy Continuum

18 Strengthen the underlying linguistic as well as perceptual/cognitive building blocks for learning, which include memory, attention, processing speed and sequencing. Goals for intervention

19 Strengthen Perceptual/Cognitive Skills Sharpen phonological representations Strengthen reading, writing, spelling Reduce learning and academic problems Successful students Enhance oral language abilities Goals for Intervention

20 4 mm 1 sec Neuroplastic physiological changes are induced by behavioral auditory temporal training in mature rats Mercado et al. (2001) Neuroreport. The cortical area responding to complex sound was much smaller in naïve rats (A) than in trained rats (B) Cortical responses evoked by periodic trains of FM sweeps were less in number and persistent in naïve rats (C) than in trained rats (D) B A C D Post-stimulus Time (s) Histograms Mean # of spikes kHz

21 Variables Driving Neuroplasticity F requent / intense input A daptive trials S ustained attention T imely rewards F requent / intense input A daptive trials S ustained attention T imely rewards

22 The goal of this exercise is to detect whether the two tones are both rising, both falling, or rising and falling As training progresses the rate of presentation increases

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26 Computer-Based Cognitive and Literacy Skills Training Literacy: Stellar Stories

27 Randomized Control Trial of Intervention Group Performance on Matching Variables Natural Speech

28 Intervention Results: Language Pre-Test vs. Post-Test Differences

29 Scaling Up: Randomized control trial in Cherry Hill, NJ schools Fast ForWord ® compared to classroom intervention 73 students identified as struggling with phonemic awareness were randomly assigned to one of two groups matched on degree of language impairment The participant group used Fast ForWord ® Language for an average of 34 school days, while the control group received regular school intervention Pre- and post-assessments show that, on average, Fast ForWord ® participants made significantly greater gains in language ability than controls Average -1 SD Below Average Performance on standardized language assessment battery MAPS for Learning Educator Reports (2004) 8(4)1-4.

30 Strengthen perceptual/cognitive skills Sharpen phonological representations Strengthen reading, writing, spelling Goals for Intervention

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32 Spelling—Repetition—Automaticity McCutchen, 1996 Graham, Harris, & Chorzempa, 2002 Reading 2: Magic Bird

33 Applying Rules of Grammar in Context Reading 3: Hog Hat Zone

34 Control Group Standard Score (Mean = 100, SD = 15) Before Intervention After Intervention Real Word Reading Non-Word Decoding Passage Comprehension ** p <.0005 Dyslexic ControlDyslexic Control Temple et al. (2003) PNAS 100. Average -1 SD Below Average *** p <.0001 * p <.005 Reading improvements after intervention

35 Control Frontal AND Temporo- parietal Frontal but NOT Temporo- parietal Dyslexic Temple et al. (2003) PNAS, 100. fMRI activation while viewing two letters and determining whether their names rhyme Example: B D = Rhyme B K = Do Not Rhyme

36 Controls Frontal & Temporo- parietal Frontal but NO Temporo- parietal Dyslexics Pre- Intervention fMRI Activation While Rhyming Letters Temple et al. (2003) PNAS Metabolic Brain activity Metabolic Brain activity differs between controls and dyslexics: Training alters functional activity such that it more closely resembles normal activity Increased Increased activity in Frontal & Temporo- parietal Dyslexics Post-Intervention

37 Thomas Gibbs Elementary 12% white 194 students total 87% African American 86% free & reduced State-wide Achievement Results : St. Mary’s Parish, LA

38 Generalizability: High-Stakes Math Achievement Test- St. Mary’s Parish, LA Thomas Gibbs Elementary 12% white 194 students total 87% African American 86% free & reduced

39 Attendance, Teacher Intervention and Time on Task Matters

40 Strengthen perceptual/cognitive skills Sharpen phonological representations Strengthen reading, writing, spelling Reduce learning and academic problems Successful students Enhance oral language abilities Goals for Intervention

41 Advanced Sentence Combining

42 Paragraph Development Reading 5: Quack Splash

43 Randomized Control Trial: Effects of Computer Intervention on Writing Skills in Middle School Students 80 general education 6 th grade students 39 Experimental 41 Waiting Control Pretest TRAINING Posttest Rogowsky, Kropiewnicki, Waskiewicz, & Dompier, 2010

44 Randomized Control Study Rogowsky, Kropiewnicki, Waskiewicz, & Dompier, 2010 Effect size pre to post Exp. Group d = 1.12

45 OWLS Written Expression Scale Experimental-Pretest. Experimental-Posttest Experimental-Pretest. Experimental-Posttest

46 Effects of Computer Intervention on Writing Skills in College Students Training Group (n= 25) Freshmen in developmental writing courses LSAMP Students (under representative minorities in STEM majors) Comparison (n= 27) General population students PRETEST Training 50 min/11 wks POSTTEST

47 Writing Scores on the OWLS Rogowsky et al, 2013 Frontiers in Educational Psychology, v 4 (137) pp 1- 11

48 Strengthen Perceptual/Cognitive Skills Sharpen phonological representations Strengthen reading, writing, spelling Reduce learning and academic problems Successful students Enhance oral language abilities Goals for Intervention

49 To date, over 2 million children in the US and in 44 countries internationally have completed Fast ForWord ® Language and/or Reading intervention programs. On any given day approximately 150,000 log in to work on Fast ForWord. Improving Language and Literacy is a Matter of Time

50 For More Information and Research on ForWord ® I thank the thousands of educators, clinicians, students and the dedicated professionals at Scientific Learning. for their invaluable collaboration in the development of Fast ForWord ® training programs.


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