Lindamood-Bell program grows brain
August 6, 2011
In a new study researchers found a San Luis Obispo company, Lindmood-Bell Learning Processes, helped grow gray matter in the brains of children with dyslexia using a reading intervention program.
The independent study, conducted by researchers from the Center for the Study of Learning, Georgetown University Medical Center, and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has been released online but is planned for publication next month in the medical journal, NeuroImage.
In the study, eleven children with the learning disability dyslexia received intensive reading and spelling instruction using the Lindamood-Bell Seeing Stars program.
After about eight weeks, where no instruction was administered, brain scans showed increases in gray matter volume in areas of the brain that are known to play a part in learning and visual imagery. In addition, results showed reading behaviors significantly improved.
The San Luis Obispo headquartered company says this is the first time a learning program like Lindamood-Bell’s Seeing Stars, which helped 850 people in 2010 alone, has been linked to growing brain matter and the results were lasting.
“For many years we have noted significant improvement in decoding and reading comprehension when we focus instruction on mental imagery as applied to language and literacy skills,” said Nanci Bell, director of Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes in a statement.
“The results of this MRI study not only validate that our instruction in imagery results in improved reading behaviors, but also results in important and lasting changes in the brain. This is a very important finding in the field of reading research, especially as related to changing the profiles of children who have decoding difficulties.”
Dyslexia is a learning disability which affects as much as 12 percent of school aged children and causes people to have difficulty with word decoding, word recognition and spelling, according to the study. The brain condition can lead to further challenges with reading comprehension and vocabulary growth.
The study was intended to find the neural basis for successful reading intervention to help inform researchers and educators and to potentially develop reading programs and policy to help children who have trouble reading.
Lindamood-Bell says the study was not initiated, designed, or funded by the company in any way.