Our Research

The Education and Brain Sciences Research Lab (EBRL) seeks to understand why some children are successful at learning to read while others are not. Using neuroimaging and behavioral testing, our NIH and NSF funded studies investigate reading comprehension, Neurofibromatosis Type 1, and the effects of reading interventions in children with and without reading difficulties.

We aim to improve the diagnosis and treatment of children who are struggling learners by combining findings from neurobiological, psychological, and educational perspectives.

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~News~

Andrea Burgess Awarded INCF/ReproNim Fellowship

Andrea Burgess, third-year graduate student in the lab, received funding for ReproNim/INCF Training Fellowship Program, sponsored jointly by ReproNim and the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF). This is a full year Train-the-Trainer fellowship program which provides Fellows with conceptual and practical training in reproducible neuroimaging, as well as tailored support for individual syllabus development and […]

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EBRL at Brain Blast 2022

EBRL had a fun time meeting you at Brain Blast 2022! Brain Blast is a free educational event for kids held every year by the Vanderbilt Brain Institute. Every year children K-8th grade get to meet and learn from real brain scientists about the brain and we always enjoy meeting everyone and teaching them about […]

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NIH funds $8 Million Grant for EBRL Research

The first few years of an infant’s life are vastly important for development. Long before enrolling in school, elements of their environment can affect the trajectories of children’s outcomes for the rest of their lives. In an effort to studies these environmental factors, the National Institutes of Health have awarded Vanderbilt a grant as part […]

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Research Coordinator Open Position at EBRL

If you’re interested in working with us here at EBRL, please see this listing! View the job Posting

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Dr. Mercedes Spencer Accepts Tenure-Track Assistant Professor Position at Northwestern University

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Mercedes Spencer! Dr. Spencer will begin a tenure-track Assistant Professor appointment in the Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University in July 2022. Her ongoing and future work aims to identify potential early indicators of reading comprehension difficulties to better predict and prevent later reading […]

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Dr. Aboud Receives Director’s Early Independence Award

Join us in congratulating EBRL’s Dr. Katherine Aboud in receiving the Director’s Early Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health! The award supports outstanding scientists with the intellect, scientific creativity, drive, and maturity bypass the traditional postdoctoral training period to launch independent research careers. Check out the full release on Vanderbilt’s site here.

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Dr. Mercedes Spencer Receives the Rebecca L. Sandak Award

The Rebecca L. Sandak Award “The Rebecca L. Sandak Young Investigator Award was established in 2008 to honor the memory of Rebecca Sandak, who died before her research goals and ideas could be fully realized. The award is intended to recognize a gifted young reading researcher who shows outstanding promise and dedication to the field. […]

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EBRL Looking for Kindergarteners for New Study

Click to see the flyer for more information!

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EBRL now Recruiting for a Brain-Based Learning Enhancement study

The Education and Brain Sciences Research Laboratory is now recruiting for a study investigating Brain-based Learning Enhancement. Adults between the ages of 18-40 who are native English speakers are invited to participate. The study includes: Initial eligibility screening, and 3-4 study visits. Visit 1 includes MRI, EEG, non-invasive brain stimulation, and behavioral testing. Visits 2 and […]

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Dr. Amanda Martinez-Lincoln Awarded NIH Supplement

EBRL’s postdoctoral research fellow, Dr. Amanda Martinez-Lincoln and her mentor, Dr. Laurie E. Cutting were the recipients of a NIH/NICHD Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-related Research. This funding will support Dr. Martinez-Lincoln’s project that will examine the neurobiological relation of reading comprehension and executive functioning in English Learners.

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