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ReAL – Neurobehavioral Development of Reading and Arithmetic Skills - A Longitudinal Study

ReAL – Neurobehavioral Development of Reading and Arithmetic Skills - A Longitudinal Study

The project ReAL examines the development of children's reading and calculation skills over the course of elementary school, using a combination of behavioral and neurophysiological (EEG, MRI) measures.

Project description

The project ReAL (Neurobehavioral Development of Reading and Arithmetic Skills - A Longitudinal Study) aims at combining methods from developmental psychology and cognitive neurosciences on a longitudinal basis. For this purpose, elementary school children are followed from first to fourth grade. A special focus lies on the combined analysis of reading and arithmetic skills.

The participating children fulfill three testing sessions per year: In a first session, the children’s strategy use is assessed while they read words and solve arithmetic problems of diverse complexity. For this purpose, the children are interviewed and their overt behavior is videotaped. In a second session, electroencephalography (EEG) is used to record the electrical activity on the scalp surface of the participants while they work on similar tasks. EEG allows for assessing the interplay of neural networks at a very high temporal resolution. In the final session, the children are asked to perform the reading and arithmetic tasks in a magnetic resonance scanner. Complementary to EEG, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) enables the detection of neural activity at a very high spatial resolution. Additionally, structural MRI scans are collected to assess differences in cortical grey and white matter that can be related to interindividual differences in reading and arithmetic skills and strategy use.




Goethe University Frankfurt

Selected Publications

Lindberg, S., Lonnemann, J., Linkersdörfer, J., Biermeyer, E., Mähler, C., Hasselhorn, M., & Lehmann, M. (2011).  Early strategies of elementary school children's single word reading. J Neurolinguistics, 24(5), 556–570.

Linkersdörfer, J., Lonnemann, J., Lindberg, S., Hasselhorn, M., & Fiebach, C. J. (2012).  Grey Matter Alterations Co-Localize with Functional Abnormalities in Developmental Dyslexia: An ALE Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE, 7(8), e43122.

Pauly, H., Linkersdörfer, J., Lindberg, S., Woerner, W., Hasselhorn, M., & Lonnemann, J. (2011).  Domain-specific Rapid Automatized Naming deficits in children at risk for learning disabilities. J Neurolinguistics, 24(5), 602–610.

Further information

Website: IDeA Center

Project management

Project team

Susanne Weber

Project details

Completed projects
11/2008 - 9/2014
External funding
Research topics:
Department: Department of Education and Human Development
last modified Nov 27, 2015