Review of research: Neuroscience and reading: A review for reading education researchers

George G. Hruby, Usha Goswami

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


In this review, we lay the groundwork for an interdisciplinary conversation between literacy education research and relevant neuroscience research. We review recent neuroscience research on correlates of proposed cognitive subprocesses in text decoding and reading comprehension and analyze some of the methodological and conceptual challenges of bridging neuroscience and literacy education research. We note that much more research on decoding processes in typically developing children is needed before profound implications for instruction can be expected. We also note that the diverse neural activity demonstrated in research on text comprehension contradicts our traditional categorical distinctions about the role of syntax, semantics, and discourse in meaning-making with language. We observe some of the debates within the neuroscience community regarding research design and statistical analysis and note two of the possibly competing theoretical frames for making sense of the brain and behavior. We conclude that contributions from neuroscience offer the possibility of interdisciplinary integration of brain, social, cognitive, and cultural perspectives in ways beneficial for reading education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-172
Number of pages17
JournalReading Research Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Adult
  • Article
  • College
  • Comprehension
  • Decoding
  • Phonics
  • Theoretical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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