David Braze, Ph.D.
Investigator, Neurobehavioral Mechanisms in Reading Comprehension [Full Text] [NIH RePORTER]
Investigator, Nature and Acquisition of the Speech Code and Reading (sub-project 6058) [NIH RePORTER]
Consultant, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Ed., Dyslexia & Early Literacy Intervention Pilot Program.
I’m interested in the cognitive structures and processes that underlie the human ability to fluidly assemble compositional meaning from more-or-less novel strings of words. So, a central focus of my research is the question of how lexical, grammatical, semantic and pragmatic processes interact with one another to yield the apprehension meaning as encoded in the spoken and written word. My work is particularly focused on individual variation around ‘typical’ behavior and development of language skills, and cognition more generally.
Eye-tracking and fMRI are my methodological heavy guns. I’ve been using the technique of tracking eye-movements during reading for some time. It provides word-by-word indicators of processing load as a text is read. More recently, I’ve starting using the method of tracking eye-movements over ‘visual worlds’ to answer questions about the online comprehension of speech. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) lets us look at relationships between brain activity and cognitive capacities like reading skill or vocabulary size. I’m also very interested in instruments for conventional psychometric assessment as well as dynamic testing.