By Sharlene McHolm, student of the Master in Neuroscience Applied to Neuropsychology


This systematic review examined 19 studies from 2018 to 2022 that used forms of brain stimulation to activate specific regions within the brain thought to be associated with reading and writing development. All studies were focused on children, aged 7 to 19 (n = 576) with a diagnosis of Dyslexia based on country definitions. All studies looked at first language speakers in Latin based languages. Findings suggest that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) using an anodal electrode in the left temporoparietal region and cathodal electrode in the right temporoparietal region effected change on a neural activity level. Similarly, hemisphere specific stimulation in the form of visual, auditory and the combination of visual and auditory stimulation were applied to create activation in areas known to require greater levels of neurotransmission than is typically found in the brain patterns of children with dyslexia. Forms of rhythmic reading training, action video games, dichotic listening, tachistoscopic visual stimulation, and visual attention focusing training were used as various forms of hemispheric specific stimulation based upon Bakker (2006) Brain Balance Framework. Across all studies, improvements were found including Rapid Automatic Naming (RAN), pseudo-word, low frequency word reading, phonological awareness, reading accuracy and speed to varying degrees. Sample sizes, convenience samples, and research design lead to cautionary optimism of promising results. Forms of non-invasion brain stimulation (NIBS) give researchers great hope for the development of conclusive interventions that will change the neural mapping of children with dyslexia, leading to improved reading fluency and comprehension. 

Keywords: Dyslexia; children; tDCS; NIBS; reading disability; non-invasion brain stimulation; direct current stimulation; hemisphere specific stimulation; education;

Download the full Research Work: Sharlene McHolm (2023). Exploring Brain Stimulation Methods to Improve Reading in Children with Dyslexia A Systematic Review. SAERA


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