Professor John Gabrieli

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Biography and Keynote Speaker Abstract

John Gabrieli, Ph.D., is Grover Hermann Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  He has dual appointments in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and in the Institute for Medical Engineering & Science at MIT.  He is Director of the Martinos Imaging Center at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and Director of MIT’s new program in learning sciences, the MIT Integrated Learning Initiative.  He also has appointments in the Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital and at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He grew up in Buffalo, NY, received a B.A. in English from Yale (1978), a Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from MIT (1987), was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard and on the faculty at Stanford until returning to MIT in 2005.  His research examines human brain development and how that varies in children, with a focus on reading and dyslexia.  He is an author on over 300 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including Science and Nature.

A central theme of Gabrieli's research is memory in its different forms: the short-term recall that allows us to dial a phone number, our long-term memory of events and places, and the emotional associations that often color our factual memories. Gabrieli studies how memory emerges during childhood. As brain imaging technology improves, he seeks to answer questions about normal human development as well as developmental disorders such as dyslexia or autism. Gabrieli also leads an ambitious new project to study the origins of dyslexia.


Cognitive Neuroscience of Dyslexia: From Biology to Remediation

Neurobehavioral research has revealed brain differences in function and structure that are associated with dyslexia.  I will review recent research about basic differences in brain function related to rapid perceptual plasticity and consistency in response to perceptual inputs. Then, I will summarize evidence that relates brain function and structure to practical concerns, such as the role of IQ in diagnosis, variation in prognosis, variability in response to targeted intervention, and early identification that might promote early intervention. 


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