Dr. Cutting to be Awarded at 11th Annual Research to Practice Symposium

The AIM Institute for Learning & Research annual Research to Practice Symposium is a free, day-long event that brings together literacy researchers and educators to learn and collaborate on important literacy themes. This year’s event, which will take place in-person as well as be accessible to a global audience via live stream, will focus on the complexity of reading comprehension and provide educators with insights for the classroom. The presentations will be moderated by Nancy Hennessy, author of The Reading Comprehension Blueprint. The event will also include presentations by Dr. Hugh Catts, Director of FSU School of Communication Science and Disorders at the Florida Center for Reading & Research, Dr. Amy Elleman, Director of the Literacy Studies Ph.D program at Middle Tennessee State University, and Dr. Tiffany Hogan, Director of the Speech and Language Literacy Lab at the MGH Institute of Health Professions.

Dr. Cutting will receive the Hollis Scarborough Award and make remarks during the event. Past Hollis Scarborough Award recipients include Dr. Hollis Scarborough (who received the inaugural award in 2019), Dr. Linnea Ehri, Dr. Mark Seidenberg, and Dr. Don Compton.

Register to attend the 2023 symposium at: www.aimpa.org/symposium.

EBRL at 29th Annual SSSR Meeting

Last week Ph.D. students Tin Nguyen, Andrea Burgess, Natalie Huerta, Emily Harriott and Dr. Amanda Martinez-Lincoln attended the 29th Annual Society for the Scientific Study of Reading conference. They were happy to represent both the science of reading that we study here at the lab and Vanderbilt University at large. They return refreshed and brimming with knowledge from their peers.

Pictured (Left to Right): Emily Harriott, Dr. Amanda Martinez-Lincoln, Andrea Burgess, Natalie Huerta, and Tin Nguyen

EBRL Recruiting Kindergarteners for Reading Study!

We are currently recruiting participants for our executive function study with kindergarteners. If you have a child that is a kindergartener and might be interested in participating in a longitudinal study tracking their reading/academic progress, please fill out this survey.

We are also currently seeking individuals ages 8 to 20 with reading difficulties or Neurofibromatosis Type 1 to participate in our research study. If interested or if you want more information, please contact us at (615) 875-5534 or email us at educationbrain@vanderbilt.edu.

Click to see the flyer for more information!

Flyer for Families of Kindergarteners

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 our lab and what we do at EBRL. This year Mr. Commodore himself came for a visit and even practiced laying still for an MRI! If you’d like to come to next year’s Brain Blast and participate in this free event, please check back with our site regularly and with the Vanderbilt Brain Institute’s calendar. Brain Blast occurs every year in March.

 

 

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 of a multi-institutional overview of variables influencing infant and child brain development, including substance exposure.

Substance use in pregnant women has increased over the past decade, highlighting the importance of efforts to understand how environmental and other exposures during pregnancy affect brain development and child outcomes. The PRELUDE consortium for the HEALthy Brain and Child Development study will recruit 2720 pregnant women in the 2nd and 3rd trimester and follow their children to age 10, using neuroimaging, behavioral assessments, EEG, biosample collection, and assessments of parent-child interaction and the home environment. This research will lead to greater understanding of factors affecting early childhood brain development, allowing targeted interventions and improved outcomes for mother-child dyads.

If you’d like to learn more about the study, you can learn more about it here or here.

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. “

We’ve long known Dr. Spencer’s passion and dedication when it comes to research, so it is always nice when such inspiration and skill is recognized by others in the field. The Education and Brain Research Lab heartily congratulates her on her well-earned recognition. We fully expect to congratulate her on many more in the future.

If you would like to find out more about the award and it’s origin, please follow this link.

2021 Award winner: Mercedes Spencer and Annie Yixun Li
2020 Award winner: Marc Goodrich and Elizabeth Stevens
2019 Award winner: Florina Erbeli
2018 Award winner: Jamie Quinn
2017 Award winner: Laura Steacy
2016 Award winner: Maaike Vandermosten
2015 Award winners: Elsje van Bergen and Elizabeth Tighe
2014 Award winners: Suzanne Adlof and Sara Hart
2013 Award winner: Fabienne Chetail
2012 Award winner: Elizabeth Norton
2011 Award winners: Yaacov Petscher and Jennifer Gilbert
2010 Award winner: Eva Marinus
2009 Award winner: Rebecca Betjemann
2008 Award winner: Shelley Xiuli Tong

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 3 include non-invasive brain simulation sessions and behavioral testing. Some individuals may be asked to complete an EEG. Some participants may be invited for a Visit 4, which includes MRI, EEG, and behavioral testing.

For participating, you will receive an E-gift card for $50 for each study visit, plus a $50 completion bonus for finishing all parts of the study.

If you would like to participate, please contact Dr. Katherine Aboud at Katherine.Aboud@vanderbilt.edu

Flyer for Brain-Based Learning Enhancement Study

EBRL and Distant Research

We at EBRL hope that you are doing well during these challenging times, even as things continue to open and close.

In the past few weeks and months, we’ve been hard at work, doing data collection in tandem with many of our colleagues across the nation, switching to remote testing. Even though we’ve been stuck at home like so many of you, the research hasn’t stopped. Through remote tech, we’ve still been interacting with our participants and been collecting data as much as possible. Sadly, we are unable to take the MRI scanner home due to some portability issues (we’ll figure it out one day).

(Pictured Above, Portability Issues of a Giant Magnet like an MRI)

Anyways, though we are unable to take MRI data, there are still plenty of tests, games, and data we can collect with participants remotely. Soon, we might be able to start seeing participants in person again, but for now there’s plenty for us to do.

As always, you can check on the latest updates on Coronavirus from Vanderbilt at: https://www.vanderbilt.edu/coronavirus/

 

For now, it seems like we may be seeing participants as soon as Fall, but as always, we will be keeping our participants updated as things go along. If you have any questions or want to participate in one of our studies, you can always email us at educationbrain@vanderbilt.edu .

COVID-19 Response and Our Research

We at EBRL hope that you and yours are doing well and staying safe in this unprecedented health event going on in the United States and across the world.

 

The times we are in are difficult for research and we here at the Education and Brain Science Research Lab are committed to the health and safety of both the participants and staff of our lab. Vanderbilt University itself has implemented social distancing measures on campus to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 (corona) virus into the further community and keep high risk individuals protected.  To that end, on campus visits for research have temporarily been suspended for the next few weeks and all staff are currently working virtually from home. We will keep in close contact with our currently scheduled participants in the upcoming weeks and keep them appraised of the situation as it develops, but if you would like to stay up to date on Vanderbilt’s response to the ongoing health crisis and find out more about how to protect yourself, go here: (https://www.vanderbilt.edu/coronavirus/)

 

We will be in close contact with our participants going forward, and will keep everyone informed as things progress. In the meantime, the lab has gone off-site in the best practice of social distancing. To help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus on your own, please see this guide on some general rules and guidelines that might help.