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Learning to read in the early elementary school years is part of the usual experience of young learners, but for children with reading difficulty, literacy skills are not achieved in the typical way. It has often been assumed that core reading difficulties involve language alone.


However, problems in learning to read for a large proportion of these children can go beyond basic language and naming skills. Sensory processes related to vision also seem to be atypical in a sizeable number of children with reading difficulty. Brain mechanisms involved with vision such as motion detection, visual attention, visual working memory, and visual information processing are related to phonological awareness and naming speed.


Our program of research is designed to shed light on the roles that visual processes play in reading success and failure, and to examine how the relationships between visual and phonological components in early literacy change with improved reading skill. To study this, we use many different methodologies including behavioural games, eye-tracking, and neuroimaging techniques (EEG).


Our end goal is to better understand those children who are struggling with learning to read, and create interventions to help them. We hope you can help! 

Lab News

  • Early Years Reading Lab undergraduate Honours students Samantha Pierce and Victoria Tess recently graduated with honours in Psychology; kudos to Victoria for winning the Wm. Ten Have Award for best honours thesis, and Samantha for best presentation at the Prairie Undergraduate Research conference.

  • Welcome to Samantha Pierce and Dominique Ruest, our newest Master's thesis students, and Victoria Tess, our Lab Technician, who are helping design experimental tasks for our longitudinal study on sensory and language sampling in early reading.

  • Congratulations to Keaden Shebaylo and Francesca Silla for graduating with their School Psychology M.A.s!

  • Congratulations to Samantha Pierce for winning a CGS-M award, and to Katharine Zinger for winning a Research Manitoba Master's Studentship.  Excellent work!

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