Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

How does the brain learn a new writing system?

Last Updated: Monday, January 18, 2010

Principal Investigator: Bruce McCandliss, Ph.D.

Other researchers: Hilda Fehd, PhD, Francisca Serrano, PhD


In this study, we will ask you to learn a new writing system. This will help us understand the process of learning to read and its relationship with brain activity.

During the nine sessions we will ask you to:

  • answer some questions to determine if this is a good study for you
  • do some tasks that measure your reading and thinking abilities
  • learn a new "alphabet" over 5 sessions of learning and testing
  • wear a damp stretchy cap to record your brain's electrical activity
  • lie still and answer yes-no questions during an MRI scan

Participant Criteria

Right-handed adults, 18-40 years old

native English speakers

who have trouble reading, including dyslexia


$15 an hour plus bonuses and travel

Visit Requirements

up to 9 one-hour sessions


Download Brochure

Contact Information

Francisca Serrano, PhD

Want to Participate in this Study?

Enter your name and contact information and this study's coordinators will contact you if there are openings available.