Neural Bases of Morphological Awareness and Reading Acquisition
Abstract: Theories of reading acquisition seek to understand the various mechanisms of reading ability. The present study investigated the contribution of morphological awareness to reading acquisition (N=71, 6-12 year-olds) and the brain bases of morphological awareness (in auditory modality) in young readers (N=21, 6-12 year-olds). The study replicated previous behavioral findings of children’s increased reliance on morphological awareness with age and reading proficiency. Neuroimaging findings revealed that children showed an increase in activation in left inferior frontal, middle frontal and middle temporal gyri during a morphological awareness task—regions previously thought as important for phonological, as well as lexico-semantic processing. The results suggest that morphological awareness provides the necessary connection between the phonological and lexico-semantic processing skills and carry implications for a better understanding of reading acquisition.
Bio: Maria Arredondo received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology at the University of Houston. Maria spent three years traveling back-and-forth to Argentina researching children’s development of Executive Function before coming to Michigan. Maria is a NSF graduate student research fellow and is currently a third-year doctoral candidate in developmental psychology working with Drs. Ioulia Kovelman and Susan Gelman. Maria’s research focuses on integrating neuroimaging and behavioral methods in the study of children’s literacy acquisition.