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Dyslexia, Learning, and the Brain [Kindle Edition]

Roderick Nicolson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dyslexia research has made dramatic progress since the mid-1980s. Once
discounted as a "middle-class myth," dyslexia is now the subject of a
complex--and confusing--body of theoretical and empirical research. In Dyslexia,
Learning, and the Brain, leading dyslexia researchers Roderick Nicolson and Angela
Fawcett provide a uniquely broad and coherent analysis of dyslexia theory. Unlike
most dyslexia research, which addresses the question "what is the cause of the
reading disability called dyslexia?" the authors' work has addressed the deeper
question of "what is the cause of the learning disability that manifests as
reading problems?" This perspective allows them to place dyslexia research
within the much broader disciplines of cognitive psychology and cognitive
neuroscience and has led to a rich framework, including two established leading
theories, the automatization deficit account (1990) and the cerebellar deficit
hypothesis (2001). Nicolson and Fawcett show that extensive evidence has accumulated
to support these two theories and that they may be seen as subsuming the established
phonological deficit account and sensory processing accounts. Moving to the
explanatory level of neural systems, they argue that all these disorders reflect
problems in some component of the procedural learning system, a multiregion system
including major components of cortical and subcortical regions. The authors' answer
to the fundamental question "what is dyslexia?" offers a challenge and
motivation for research throughout the learning disabilities, laying the foundations
for future progress.

Roderick I. Nicolson is Professor of
Psychology and Dean of the Faculty of Pure Science at the University of Sheffield.
Angela Fawcett was Reader in Dyslexia at the University of Sheffield and is now
Professor of Child Research and Director of the Centre for Child Research at Swansea

Editorial Reviews


"More than any other recognized learning disorder, the history of the study of dyslexia has been long and filled with great discoveries and innovations, as well as failures. Dyslexia, Learning, and the Brain, makes a unique and significant contribution by reviewing this huge literature. But more importantly, this text stands out among most others in the area, by presenting alternative science-based theories in a coherent manner, and interweaving them with some of the commonly accepted ideas in cognitive neuroscience. The author's ideas are often refreshing, and I consider them called for if we are to do the necessary 'out-of-the-box' thinking towards advancing the field. Nicholson and Fawcett have, over the years, challenged and engaged the dyslexia community. Their voice in this text should be heard clearly by any student of the field young or old." Jeffrey W. Gilger , Associate Dean for Discovery and Faculty Development, Purdue University, and Chair, Research Subcommittee, the International Dyslexia Association

About the Author

Rod Nicolson is Professor of Psychology and Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Sheffield.

Angela Fawcett was Reader in Dyslexia at the University of Sheffield and is now Professor of Child Research and Director of the Centre for Child Research at Swansea University.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3616 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 1 edition (July 31, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004GGTJE2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,262,733 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great state-of-the-art overview as of 2008 December 25, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The authors of this slim, highly-readable, and informative volume are themselves researchers in this field. The major point of the book is to present their own comprehensive model of the cognitive underpinnings of reading disorders. In the process, they also cover previous theories and give a broad summary of the research to date.

They should be commended for the structure of their book, which not only includes numbered section headings and summaries, but also forward references at the ends of chapters to connect the material just covered to material in later chapters. Their theoretical model and extensive research on that model appeared to me to be useful for both researchers and clinicians. For those in the field, they attempt to go beyond the phonological-processing model and the dual-deficit model (phonological processing plus speed of processing), to present an integrated model of how problems with automatizing many tasks, including motor skills, may lead to most of the problems observed in reading disability.

Those who work with learning disabled children and adults will find this a lucid, comprehensive, and current update on the state of research in this complex area. Some family members or other interested non-professionals may also find it interesting or enlightening (although it is primarily aimed at professional psychologists and specialists in learning disabilities), because it is so well written.
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The topic of Dyslexia is increasingly researched. Having read a vast number of the research literature, this book -- to me -- is somewhat unique in its approach. Modern science is increasingly becoming more and more specialized, which is a logical outflow of deepening levels of understanding and complexity. The flip-side of such specialization is compartimentalization. Fawcett and Nicholson succeeded quite brilliantly in keeping the overview: and not only from a dyslexia sciences perspective, but even from perspective of Learning. As my field is remediation, I found this broader viewpoint of particular value.
Don't now conclude that the book is treating the topic superficially. Obviously, most individual research is referenced at the conclusion level, but the interdependencies, correlations, causations are excellently presented. I can highly recommend this book to anybody in the research or remediation field of dyslexia.
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