Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Who We Are

The Education and Brain Sciences Research Lab investigates the neural correlates of learning in children, or Educational Neuroscience (sometimes referred to as Educational Cognitive Neuroscience). In particular, we seek to understand why some children are successful at learning to read, while others are not. Our research projects focus on intervention, reading comprehension, and Neurofibromatosis Type 1. Across all these projects, we seek to understand the how the development of oral language and executive function interrelates to skill acquisition in the reading domain. We aim to improve the diagnosis and treatment of children who are struggling learners by combining findings from neurobiological, psychological, and educational perspectives. Clinical services are also available through the Education and Brain Research Lab’s affiliation with the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Reading Clinic.

Research Initiatives

Our research projects investigate the educational and neurobiological underpinnings of reading disabilities in adolescents. This collaborative research effort encompasses affiliations with the Haskins Laboratories; University of Maryland, College Park; Ohio State University; and Educational Testing Service. Most of our educational research projects are funded by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) grants.

Who We Serve

We work with children between the ages of 8 and 17. Most of our testing is conducted at Vanderbilt University, but for some research projects we will go out and conduct testing in schools and communities. We also do some work with adults in order to compare their cognitive abilities and brain activation patterns to those of children.

Our Team

Our team comprises faculty-level research scientists, Masters- and bachelors-level team members, and other professionals in the fields of education, psychology, and neuroscience.

Laurie Cutting, Ph.D.

Laurie Cutting, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

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