Educatioal Neuroimaging Center

Group leader: Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus, PhD

How do children acquire language? How do they learn how to read? Why some children are having difficulties reading or understanding language? Can we change rain activation?

In the Educational Neuroimaging Center we try to tackle these questions using neuroimaging tools such as Magnetic Resonance Neuroimaging (functional, structural, connectivity), Electroencephalography, Eye trackers, TDCS and more.

Our ultimate goal is to characterize the involvement of neurobiological networks in one of the most complex human inventions: Reading. Reading is not an intuitive ability and in order to read our brain recycles neural networks originally aim for visual processing, listening, language processing and attention.  We focus on children since the recruitment of these networks occurs during early brain development and is affected both from the environment (absence of the appropriate exposure to linguistic stimulation and literacy) as well as from the child’s genetic background.

In some cases, reading and language acquisition are impaired. In our work we focus on the role of executive functions- a cluster of higher order and basic cognitive abilities-in typical and atypical language and reading development. We examine these processes in children with dyslexia, attention deficit disorders, neurological diseases (i.e. epilepsy) and more. Our goal is to pinpoint at the similarities and differences between these conditions so we can tailor the most appropriate intervention/training for every child’s needs. Using neuroimaging, we track the impaired networks and try to modify it so behavior and cognition improve, just like the medical models for precision medicine.

Our group members have a diverse background and specialties, including but not limited to image and signal processing, algorithm development, machine and deep learning methods, statistic tools to allow the processing of massive databases, to the linguistic, psychological and didactic aspects of brain development. Our research program is through the Educational Neuroimaging program.

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Learning programs: MSc and PhD