Published on March 21, 2014
Dyslexic Cognition and MIND Strengths Fernette Eide MD and Brock Eide MD MA DyslexicAdvantage.com Dyslexic Advantage is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity dedicated to understanding, building, and using the essential strengths of the dyslexic mind. http://slideshare.net/drseide To Understand, Build, and Use the Essential Strengths of the Dyslexic Mind Conference on Dyslexia and Innovation 2014, San Francisco
First Report of Dyslexia “Congenital Word Blindness” “…he would be the smartest lad in the school if the instruction were entirely oral...” - W Pringle Morgan (1896) Thomas G West, In the Mind’s Eye
Samuel Orton, 1925 Reading Disability Students • Chronological Age • Mental Age – Stanford Binet
Dyslexic Student Verbal IQ Perceptual IQ Listening Comprehension, Oral Expression, Reading Comprehension Working Memory Processing Speed Oral Reading Accuracy Spelling Sentence Composition “unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities” (Dyslexia Definition NIHCHD, IDA) WISC-IV WIAT-III
60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 AxisTitle VIQ 135+ VIQ 120-134 VIQ 95-119 Cognitive Profiles Dyslexic Students By IQ N=113
60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 AxisTitle VIQ 135+ VIQ 120-134 VIQ 95-119 Cognitive Profiles Dyslexic Students By IQ Strong Problem Solving Strong Comprehension Verbal & Nonverbal Strengths N=113
Dyslexic MIND Strengths M: Material / Mechanical Reasoning I : Interconnected Reasoning N: Narrative Reasoning D: Dynamic Reasoning
M-Strength – Material Reasoning M-Strength – Material Reasoning An ability to reason about the three-dimensional properties of the physical or material world – the shape, size, motion, position, spatial orientation, and interaction of physical objects
Historical Clinical Observations Dyslexic M-Strengths “Fathers in high spatial occupations such as surgeons, mechanics, dentists, architects, engineers, and farmers, tend to have more genetically dyslexic children than do fathers in other occupations…” – Alexander Bannatyne, 1971 Spontaneous drawing of a 9 yo dyslexic boy- Critchley, 1970 “…an increasing number of studies that have pointed out that many dyslexics have superior talents in certain areas of non-verbal skill, such as art, architecture, engineering, and athletics..” – Norman Geschwind, 1982 “Most of my patients showed real dexterity. Some of them excelled at model-making and other mechanical pursuits.” - Critchley M-Strength – Material Reasoning
College Majors of Dyslexic Parents in Our Clinic Engineering, Architecture, Construction Business, Finance, Sales Philosophy, Law, Politics Medicine, Science, Human Resources Dental Education 28% N = 50 Consecutive Families (Eide Clinic) M-Strength – Material Reasoning
Visualization in 3D “If I’m designing an object, I know the exact shape in 3-D. I can walk around it in my head before drawing it.” – Designer Sebastion Bergne “Nobody told me how to do things; I just did them. I could mentally conjure and manipulate designs, and then I could physically create them out of metal or wood…” – Ben Kilham, gun designer, one of the world’s authority on bears James Russell (inventor compact disc) visualizing and manipulating inventions in his head M-Strength – Material Reasoning
M-Thinkers – Non-Verbal M-Strength – Material Reasoning “To me, abstract pictures and diagrams seem more important than words.” – Kalvins Jansons, mathematician “It’s an image type –thought. But it’s not a specific image. It isn’t an image what I’m dealing with. It’s imaging but I can’t find words to say that. I can’t put them into words.” – James Russell, compact disc inventor
3D:2D Trade-Off • “I still print today. I print everything in capitals to help me tell the difference between letters like b and d” – Biochemistry Professor Roy Daniel Fink, 2006; Attree, 2009 M-Strength – Material Reasoning Dyslexic Adolescents – Strong 3D Navigation, Weaker 2D Recall
I-Strengths Interconnected Reasoning An ability to spot connections or relationships between different objects, concepts, or points of view. I-Strength – Interconnected Reasoning
“I asked my 11 year old dyslexic son what do you think of when I say the word "cat.“ After about 5 SECONDS I said, " I think of a fuzzy kitten." Eventually he said, “Well, first I wondered are you talking about someone named Cat or are you talking about a tiger or a lion, or maybe you mean a mama cat with her kittens or maybe a cute little kitty, or maybe you mean a cat walk up in the sky." This is what he thought of in the 5 seconds while I thought of a fuzzy kitten before I interrupted his train of thought. Now imagine what these people are capable of thinking about. They aren't slow, they are just thinking of so many things while we with our simple minds are thinking of one simple thing.” I-Strength – Interconnected Reasoning “I always had trouble with multiple choice questions in college because I’d think of so many different ways to interpret questions..” – Tech venture capitalist
Interconnected Reading Non-Dyslexic Dyslexic Reading Real vs. Pseudo words Sarah et al, 2014 Cincinnati Childrens Medical Center Word Substitutions – Wide Semantic Field? sister - brother graduation - celebration Valentine’s Day - Christmas rock - stone leaf - feather I-Strength – Interconnected Reasoning Richer Word Associations – But Substitutions, Slower Retrieval
Dyslexic Brain & Verb Generation I-Strength – Interconnected Reasoning Silently Generate a Verb Associated with a Noun Example: Boat...Sailing Baillieux et al., 2009 Specific Activation Different Networks Activated for Specific Tasks Dyslexia-Specific: parahippocampal gyrus, fusiform, lingual gyrus ? context word retrieval, imagery Verb Generation - Control vs Dyslexic
Dyslexic Trade-Offs Fine Detail Global ‘Big’ Picture Word Accuracy Comprehension Precise, Exact Word Associations Context Gist
Dyslexics and Creativity Tests I-Strength – Interconnected Reasoning In one study, dyslexic subjects came up with 30% more possibilities on an alternative use task. On a picture production task, dyslexic subjects drew 1/3 more drawings. Everatt, 1999 Engineering – Art - Design
Interdisciplinary Thinking I-Strength – Interconnected Reasoning “I have always been interested in the overlap between psychology, sociology, and history…” – Douglas Merrill, Google’s first CIO, President of Sony EMI digital, now CEO Zest Finance "Every so often I was seized by the sudden urge to drop a field right in the middle of writing a paper, and to grab a new research interest in a field about which I knew nothing.” – Benoit Mandelbrot, fractal theory
N-Strength – Narrative Reasoning N-Strengths Narrative Reasoning An ability to create stories by connecting a series of mental scenes from past personal experience, as well as the tendency to use stories to recall the past, understand the present, and imagine the future.
Thinking and Remembering in Stories N-Strength – Narrative Reasoning “I’m going to tell you everything as a story because that’s how I experience the world.” – Sarah Andrews, Geologist, Author “It seems my strengths as a lawyer was being able to tell a story…” – David Schoenbrod, attorney NY law professor “I always think in stories.” – Douglas Merrill, ex Google CIO, ZestFinance Memory Paradox – Rote Memory Weak, Personal Episodic Memory Strong “The only way I can remember anything is if I can make it into a story.” - dyslexic college student
Rote vs. Episodic Memory N-Strength – Narrative Reasoning Rote Memory • Impersonal, Impartial • Generic • List of Facts – No Why • Repetitive, Rule-Based • No Theory of Mind Needed Personal Episodic Memory • Personal, Affective • Point of View, Time & Place • Causal, Story Arc - Why • Novel, Non-Rule Based, Examples • Theory of Mind-Goals, Intentions, Inference
Incidental Memory Strong in Dyslexic Children
Neurobiology of Narrative N-Strength – Narrative Reasoning Story Processing Overlaps Areas Default Mode (Daydreaming, Min Mar, 2004; Spreng et al, 2008 “My mind tended to wander a lot… I can’t help it...whatever you talk about, I’ll see pictures in my head. Very vivid, colorful, lifelike pictures.” - Glenn Bailey, CEO and serial entrepreneur Business – Movie Writers and Directors – Authors – Psychologist / Counselors
D Strengths – Dynamic Reasoning D-Strength – Dynamic Reasoning The ability to recombine elements of past experience to predict or mentally simulate future outcomes. “I spend most of my time in my business thinking, ‘What’s next?’, ‘Where are we going?’...I see it. I see it in my mind, and I start working towards it.”- Gerry Rittenberg CEO Party City Visualization – Scene Construction – Self Projection Episodic Memory – Pattern Recognition Hypothetical and Counterfactual Reasoning
“I took in everything I had ever observed and projected myself backward in time, seeing the landscape on which the sands been deposited before they became rock…repeated patterns become ideas, and new patterns lead to new paradigms…(I see) back through time, and into future events.”- Sarah Andrews, geologist and author Episodic Memory and Forecasting D-Strength – Dynamic Reasoning
Hypothetical and Counter-Factual Reasoning Dynamic Reasoning and Forecasting "I play out how things happen in the future...Is there a logic to this? What is the hypothesis? I think through future scenarios. I imagine how it would play out over time. Make a model of the future with lots of interacting pieces, simplifying complex things like a startup and think how it will develop over time.” - Scott Sandell, Venture Capitalist D-Strength – Dynamic Reasoning “What I look for a company, what I don’t look for is how good it’s going to be, but rather how it can fail...what can go wrong with the business...” - Gerry Rittenberg, CEO
Neurobiology of Dynamic Reasoning Brain Network involved in autobiographical / episodic memory, forecasting, spatial navigation, theory of mind, and default processing What Next?
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