Neuroscience Graduate Program Retreat (9/27/18)



The annual Vanderbilt Brain Institute (VBI) Retreat was held on September 27th, 2018, and EBRL’s graduate student’s presence definitely could be felt!  The annual gathering was host to a wide range of students in the field and excellent research from a variety of different laboratories to share ideas, promote collaboration, and celebrate a joy for research. Discussions were lively and poster sessions were survived.

In the end, EBRL is proud to say that our own Laurie Cutting and Katherine Aboud both walked away with awards!

Laurie Cutting was awarded with Best Mentor


Katherine Aboud was awarded with:

Elaine Sanders-Bush Award for Outstanding Neuroscience Research, Vanderbilt Brain Institute (2018)


Best Oral Presentation, Vanderbilt Brain Institute (2018)!


Congratulations to you both!!

EBRL Moves! (8/13)

The Education and Brain Sciences Research Lab has moved to a new building!

IMG_20180802_105037 MVIMG_20180813_093246

Last week we moved to 1400 18th Avenue South, Nashville TN, just a few blocks away from our old office.

MapofCarriageHouse PicofCarriageHouse

It’s been a hectic few weeks, but we are all excited to continue our research and study in our brand new home!

Congratulations to Walden Ferrell on her poster presentation! (7/11)

The lab would like to publicly congratulate our intern Walden Ferrell on her excellent poster presentation over some of the preliminary findings of the lab. Walden has been working with the lab for some time and has been a valuable asset. Working closely with lab member Tin Nyugen, Walden generated this poster to present with her classmates as a part of her continued internship. A small crowd and a steady stream of inquiring minds were always present at her poster, which she handled wonderfully. We can’t wait for her to return in the fall to continue working with us, and we wish her continued academic success!

IMG_20180711_102433 IMG_20180711_102959  MVIMG_20180711_103858

Cutting Lab to present at Twenty-Fifth Annual SSSR Meeting (7/18 – 7/21)

Twenty-Fifth Annual SSSR Meeting

Location: Hilton Brighton Metropole (Brighton, United Kingdom)
 July 18-21, 2018
Program Chair: Robert Savage

Poster Presentation

*presenting authors

Neena Saha*, Stephen Bailey, & Laurie Cutting. Initial Validation Evidence for the Decoding System Measure (DSyM): A Measure of Decoding Difficulty.


Tin Nguyen*, Stephanie Del Tufo, & Laurie Cutting. Executive Functions and Brain Structural Development Support the Growth of Readers’ Self-Correction Probability.


Invited Symposium

Topic: Reading Comprehension Across the Ages: Learning to Read and Reading to Learn

Mercedes Spencer & Laurie Cutting*. “Considering the Role of Executive Function in the Simple View of Reading.”



*presenting author

Topic: New Insights into the Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Reading Development and Disability

Daniel Leopold, Andrew Reineberg, Kai Wang, Marie Banich, Erik Willcutt, Lee Thompson, Laurie Cutting, & Stephen Petrill. “Prediction of Individual Differences in Adolescent Reading Ability Using A Priori Neuroanatomy and Task-Based fMRI.”


Topic: Neuroimaging the Typical and Atypical Development of Reading Over Time

Laurie Cutting*. “Longitudinal Changes in Brain Connectivity During Reading Development.”

Stephen Bailey’s talk at ORAL SESSION: Language; Convention in Singapore (Wednesday, 6/20)

Reorganization of resting-state networks while reading and listening: a developmental perspective

Presented During: ORAL SESSION: Language
Wednesday, Jun 20: 11:30 AM  – 11:42 AM
Oral Sessions
Singapore Convention Center
Room: Room 324-326
One of the chief insights about the “resting” brain is that it segregates into densely intra-connected resting-state networks. These include primary sensory regions but also associative and executive networks. Complicated cognitive tasks such as reading and listening comprehension require rapid coordination between these different networks, but how they transiently reorganize during different language use has not been well-described. Such a line of investigation is particularly valuable in the context of developing readers, who are mapping visual systems onto existing language circuitry: identifying differences between reading and listening comprehension may elucidate which systems uniquely support reading comprehension. In this study, we use graph theory and functional data from oral and written language tasks (i.e., listening and reading comprehension) in children to describe the local and global reorganization of the brain during reading and listening.


Stephen Bailey, Vanderbilt University

For more information on this convention, Click Here

Katherine Aboud’s talk at the VUIIS Neuroimaging Retreat (Friday, 6/8)

For more information, download the VUIIS Retreat 2017 APP:


How do we build meaning from texts? An fMRI study of adult sentence reading

Friday, June 8

Vanderbilt University


See the talk that critics are calling “Pretty Good…” Featuring Katherine Aboud as Katherine Aboud, a plucky neuroscientist out to change the world, one conference at a time.


Katherine Aboud received her B.S. in Mathematics and English from Virginia Tech, and an M.F.A. in Poetry at George Mason. Katherine is particularly interested in using multiple types of neuroimaging approaches to examine the neural correlates of semantic processing, and how deficits in these processes contribute to reading difficulties.

Laurie Cutting’s talk in St. Petersburg, Russia (5/28-6/1)

Dr. Laurie Cutting is scheduled to give a talk at



All about Language: Science, Theory, and Practice

St. Petersburg, Russia
May 28—June 1, 2018.

The meeting will include various language-related topics with targeted speakers in language evolution, genetic and environmental etiology, typical development, language disorders, bi/multilingualism, and various types of literacy. The symposium will be supported primarily by two laboratories led by Elena Grigorenko and Yury Shtyrov, both recently established at the St. Petersburg University (SPbSU), Russia, within the framework of so-called “Mega-grant projects” aimed at giving a major boost to Russian sciences (

In addition, both funding and other administrative support, including the venue for the conference, was provided by SPbSU. A number of philanthropic organizations will be supporting various aspects of the event, including The Dyslexia Foundation, the Russian Dyslexia Association, and the Way Out Foundation. In addition to a scientific exchange of ideas among leading scientists, the event will feature three free public lectures open to all and a round table for practitioners with participating educators from independent schools, representatives of the Russian Ministry of Science and Education, and social Russian social entrepreneurs interested in starting independent schools.

Visiting Scholar: (4/26)

On Thursday the 26th, the lab  was visited by the noted learner Nugget of Shenanigoats Yoga. He intensely absorbed the information from the team members and studied the team’s posters with vibrant interest while he could. We wish him well in his endeavors and his continuing education and are grateful for his visit.

IMG_2592Nugget Poster 1IMG_1699