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Breaking News: New research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology allows us to watch the brain read from the time the eye sees the printed word. We can watch its progress from the retina through the processing stages. In the newly discovered “letterbox” region of the brain two parallel systems are activated at speeds too fast for conscious awareness. One system decodes by matching letter to sound, while the second sends the signal to the “mental lexicon”, the brain’s dictionary, to attach meaning. Years of practice leads us to experience reading as a single integrated system. To learn more about how neuroplasticity allows humans to read and what solutions this produces for the dyslexic reader click here.

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