Dyslexia Phenotype Project

The Dyslexia Phenotype Project involves a large-scale collaboration of UCSF investigators to understand the phenotype (the neural, genetic, cognitive, and behavioral expression) of dyslexia throughout the lifespan. Our aim is not only to identify language-specific weaknesses associated with dyslexia, but also the associated individual strengths.

Our program will help people overcome their weaknesses by building upon their strengths. We want to apply a personalized, brain-centric approach that is essential to advance the field of dyslexia. Too often evaluation and remediation plans are based on academic achievement measures. Unfortunately, these measures do not evaluate the functions of specific brain networks. Without a deeper understanding of the functions of each individual’s specific language and non-language brain structure, effective interventions may not be consistently successful.

Individuals will undergo a neurological and psychiatric evaluation, as well as a comprehensive series of established and experimental cognitive tasks that are precisely designed to investigate the structure and function of specific brain circuits. The results of this system-based cognitive assessment will be correlated with structural and functional neuroimaging, as well as with genetic findings, to create individualized interventions. The cognitive areas that will be considered include language (phonology, semantics, grammar and orthography), visuospatial processing, social cognition, musical talent, executive functioning, attention and emotional processing.

Each measure was chosen and designed by UCSF experts in order to isolate specific components of cognition that can be traced to precise brain structures.

Expertise in education and remediation strategies and the collaboration with the Charles Armstrong School will complete the multidisciplinary approach of the UCSF Dyslexia Center.

With this comprehensive approach, we aim to better understand diverse presentations of dyslexia and how individuals learn to thrive and adapt.

If you'd like to know more about how to get involved, please visit this page for more information.

Video Segments

Phenotyping Study Overview
Video by Aria Rani Sindledecker

Brain Imaging and MRI

Social Cognition

Spatial Cognition

Pitch Perturbation

Case Conference