Project leader of requested project C10 (N) for next funding period.
My research leverages childhood education, particularly the acquisition of math and reading skills, to address fundamental questions about the human brain. Math and reading are uniquely human abilities that are acquired through extensive learning, typically during our childhood education. As such, understanding what are the neural substrates of math and reading and how these substrates emerge as we acquire these essential skills provides important insight on how learning and cultural inventions shape cognition and the human brain. For example, the neural substrates of math and reading can help us understand why the brain is organized the way it is, which components of the brain are static and which change due to learning, and how brain function and structure concert human cognition. Moreover, a better understanding of the neural substrates of math and reading will also play a critical role in battling math and reading learning disabilities, which can have dramatic implications for the socioeconomic outlook of the afflicted children.