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Mechanisms of reading development in deaf children (360G-Wellcome-220291_Z_20_Z)

Many severely and profoundly deaf children struggle to learn to read because written text is a visual representation of spoken language, to which they have limited access. I have shown that speechreading (lipreading) relates to deaf children’s reading development. Fully understanding the mechanisms underlying the speechreading-reading relationship is fundamental to harnessing speechreading as a tool to improve deaf children’s reading. My goal is to investigate this mechanism in 1) a longitudinal study, to determine the relationships between speechreading, phonological skills, language skills and reading over time and 2) in neuroimaging studies with deaf children and adults to investigate neural representations of visual speech and written text and the relationships between them. All deaf participants involved in the studies above will use speechreading. A subset will also have learned British Sign Language from an early age. Good quality early sign language exposure is beneficial to reading development in profoundly deaf children. However, the mechanism underlying this relationship is unclear. I will employ parallel methods to those used in the speechreading studies to examine 1) the longitudinal relationships between sign language, fingerspelling and reading and 2) the neural representation of these visual language inputs in deaf children and adults.


31 Mar 2020

Grant details
Amount Awarded 1580335
Applicant Surname MacSweeney
Approval Committee Science Interview Panel
Award Date 2020-03-31T00:00:00+00:00
Financial Year 2019/20
Grant Programme: Title Senior Research Fellowship Renewal
Internal ID 220291/Z/20/Z
Lead Applicant Prof Mairead MacSweeney
Planned Dates: End Date 2025-09-30T00:00:00+00:00
Planned Dates: Start Date 2020-10-01T00:00:00+00:00
Recipient Org: Country United Kingdom
Region Greater London
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