Mission: Our mission is to both use neuroscience as a tool for improving education, and use education as a tool for furthering our understanding of the brain. On the one hand, advances in non-invasive, quantitative brain imaging technologies are opening a new window into the mechanisms that underlie learning. For children with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, we hope to develop personalized intervention programs that are tailored to a child’s unique pattern of brain maturation. On the other hand, interventions provide a powerful tool for understanding how environmental factors shape brain development.
The Lab: The Brain Development & Education Lab is located in the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS). The focus of the lab is understanding the interplay between brain maturation and cognitive development. The lab is interdisciplinary, drawing on the fields of neuroscience, psychology, education and engineering to answer basic scientific and applied questions. Current projects focus on understanding how the brain’s reading circuitry develops in response to education and how targeted behavioral interventions prompt changes in the brain’s of children with dyslexia. A major component of this work is the development of software to measure properties of human brain tissue, localize abnormalities and quantify changes over development.