In Dyslexia, Less Brain Tissue Not to Blame for Reading Difficulties

In people with dyslexia, less gray matter in the brain has been linked to reading disabilities, but now new evidence suggests this is a consequence of poorer reading experiences and not the root cause of the disorder.

It has been assumed that the difference in the amount of gray matter might, in part, explain why dyslexic children have difficulties correctly and fluently mapping the sounds in words to their written counterparts during reading. But this assumption of causality has now been turned on its head.

The findings from anatomical brain studies conducted at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) in the Center for the Study of Learning led by neuroscientist Guinevere Eden, DPhil, were published online today in The Journal of Neuroscience.

The study compared a group of dyslexic children with two different control groups: an age-matched group included in most previous studies, and a group of younger children who were matched at the same reading level as the children with dyslexia.

“This kind of approach allows us to control for both age as well as reading experience,” explains Eden, a professor of pediatrics at GUMC. “If the differences in brain anatomy in dyslexia were seen in comparison with both control groups, it would have suggested that reduced gray matter reflects an underlying cause of the reading deficit. But that’s not what we observed.”

The dyslexic groups showed less gray matter compared with a control group matched by age, consistent with previous findings. However, the result was not replicated when a control group matched by reading level was used as the comparison group with the dyslexics.

“This suggests that the anatomical differences reported in left hemisphere language processing regions appear to be a consequence of reading experience as opposed to a cause of dyslexia,” says Anthony Krafnick, PhD, lead author of the publication. “These results have an impact on how we interpret the previous anatomical literature on dyslexia and it suggests the use of anatomical MRI would not be a suitable way to identify children with dyslexia,” he says.

The work also helps to determine the fine line between experience-induced changes in the brain and differences that are the cause of cognitive impairment. For example, it is known from studies in illiterate people who attain reading skills as adults that this type of learning induces growth of brain matter. Similar learning-induced changes in typical readers may result in discrepancies between them and their dyslexic peers, who have not enjoyed the same reading experiences and thus have not undergone similar changes in brain structure.

I love how the Kingsman fandom is united is its firm denial of Harry Hart’s death.

Like, you can ship whatever you like: Hartwin? Join the Party! Harry/Merlin? Sure, why not! Harry/Merlin/Eggsy? Rock on! Eggsy/Roxy? Be our guest!

Canon? Open to interpretation. Are they heroes? Are they sociopaths? Is Eggsy losing himself in his role or just maybe unhealthily grieving by trying to become Harry or just evolving and perfectly fine?Just how much fucked is the world post-movie? Discussion is welcome!

But no one, no one, no matter their ship or their other headcanons will ever accept that Harry Hart is dead.

“Meh, it’s just a bullet to the head, he can come back.”

“Look, we didn’t get a close visual of his scattered brain matter, he could totally be ok.”

“No on screen cremation no death.”

I love it even more that the people who made the movie are also doing this.

“Well, yes, we kinda had him shot in the head, but… I mean, we can work with that, right? We can figure out something. We can get him back for the sequel.”

I believe that this fandom would honestly be ok if Harry Hart just waltzed in and said “I just told Death to go fuck itself and it didn’t want to argue with me.”



Sure this is just a live-action trailer for the amazing Lollipop Chainsaw video game but it’s a flippin’ SWEET video!


There are times you must go boldly and wildly in search of inspiration, chasing it to the far corners of the earth and of your mind. And there are times when inspiration finds you, absorbing into you off of the streets or your own bedroom walls. When you have it, you must grip it tightly as you pin it down onto paper so it does not escape while you secure it firmly in place with ink.


Roger Hiorns “We’re surrounded by codified practices consistently imposed on us by dominant objects. We’re under a narrow coercion from the objects that we design for ourselves. Of course, this question is strikingly obvious: Are we a balanced society? Can we retool our objects, perhaps? What would that involve, and is it possible to transgress the continuous production of next-generation objects, to insert transgressive stimulus, the cross of semen and the light bulb, for example? To retool, simply to ask: Do we live in a society where we make objects towards the darker side of our psyche? Is it useful to continue this procedure even further, with more necessity and speed?“