Frontiers of BrainHealth Lunch Lecture Series
The Center for BrainHealth invites scientists to share their scientific study with students and other researchers at the Frontiers of BrainHealth Lunch Lectures. The lectures are heavily science focused and are not intended for a lay audience. Lectures to be simulcast among UTD affiliated locations.
The lectures are free, but you must register to reserve your seat. Lunch is served at 11:45 AM.
Tracy Centanni, PhD - Heterogeneous Neural Deficits in Dyslexia During Speech Sound Processing Tasks
Department of Psychology Texas Christian University
Dr. Centanni will present new evidence for varying auditory processing deficits in dyslexia and their neural correlates. She will also cover preliminary findings from her ongoing work investigating a new method of driving neural plasticity during reading acquisition – auricular vagus nerve stimulation. Though increasing evidence suggests deficits in auditory processing are prevalent in dyslexia, the presence and nature of these deficits are not ubiquitous, suggesting heterogeneity in the biological mechanisms driving dyslexia. Such heterogeneity has not only driven controversy in the field over the past decades, but likely contributes to the percentage of children with dyslexia who fail to respond to a singular intervention option.
The Centanni Lab studies auditory perception (with a focus on language), genetic influences in communication disorders, and neural plasticity during learning and intervention. The main goal of this work is to identify the biological mechanisms of communication impairments so that more effective interventions can be implemented. To unpack the genetic heterogeneity of language and reading, we use rats as a model to investigate the link between certain genes and auditory perception and plasticity. We then bring in human participants to test these results and evaluate new methods of driving plasticity during language and reading interventions. The lab uses a combination of animal behavior, microelectrode recording techniques, human behavioral testing, non-invasive auricular vagus nerve stimulation, human imaging (EEG and tDCS), and genetic testing.