W. Einar Mencl

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Infant cries and facial expressions influence social interactions and elicit caretaking behaviors from adults. Recent neuroimaging studies suggest that neural responses to infant stimuli involve brain regions that process rewards. However, these studies have yet to investigate individual differences in tendencies to engage or withdraw from motivationally(More)
Functional neuroimaging studies indicate that a primary marker of specific reading disability (RD) is reduced activation of left hemisphere (LH) posterior regions during performance of reading tasks. However, the severity of this disruption, and the extent to which these LH systems might be available for reading under any circumstances, is unclear at(More)
Substance abuse in pregnant and recently post-partum women is a major public health concern because of effects on the infant and on the ability of the adult to care for the infant. In addition to the negative health effects of teratogenic substances on fetal development, substance use can contribute to difficulties associated with the social and behavioral(More)
Gough and Tunmer's (1986) simple view of reading (SVR) proposed that reading comprehension (RC) is a function of language comprehension (LC) and word recognition/decoding. Braze et al. (2007) presented data suggesting an extension of the SVR in which knowledge of vocabulary (V) affected RC over and above the effects of LC. Tunmer and Chapman (2012) found a(More)
Speech signals contain information of both linguistic content and a talker's voice. Conventionally, linguistic and talker processing are thought to be mediated by distinct neural systems in the left and right hemispheres respectively, but there is growing evidence that linguistic and talker processing interact in many ways. Previous studies suggest that(More)
Understanding how genes impact the brain's functional activation for learning and cognition during development remains limited. We asked whether a common genetic variant in the BDNF gene (the Val66Met polymorphism) modulates neural activation in the young brain during a critical period for the emergence and maturation of the neural circuitry for reading. In(More)
Differences in how writing systems represent language raise important questions about whether there could be a universal functional architecture for reading across languages. In order to study potential language differences in the neural networks that support reading skill, we collected fMRI data from readers of alphabetic (English) and morpho-syllabic(More)
Despite anecdotal evidence of relative visuospatial processing strengths in individuals with reading disability (RD), only a few studies have assessed the presence or the extent of these putative strengths. The current study examined the cognitive and neural bases of visuospatial processing abilities in adolescents with RD relative to typically developing(More)
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