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Left is best? Using transcranial Direct Current Stimulation to encourage normal lateralisation during reading as a treatment for Developmental Dyslexia


Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive form of mild brain stimulation that has been shown to improve language processing in healthy individuals.  Language processing occurs mainly in the left side of the brain, and it is thought that the reading problems experienced by those with developmental dyslexia might be due to less activity on the left side and more activity on the right side.  The goal of this study is to see if tDCS can be used to shift activation more towards the left in those with developmental dyslexia in order to improve reading performance.  

We are currently seeking DYSLEXIC AND CONTROL volunteers aged 18-50 who are right handed native English speakers.    Before taking part, you will need to attend an initial screening session at the University of Manchester which will involve completing some cognitive tests.  If you meet the criteria for participation, you will then take part in a total of two experimental sessions set one week apart. The first session should take no more than 3 hours, the second session no more than 1 hour and 30 minutes. 

During the first session electroencephalogram (EEG) and eye movement recordings will be taken while you perform a variety of language processing tasks. EEG is a well-established method in which electrodes are placed onto the scalp in order to pick up electrical signals from the brain. After this you will receive tDCS for 20 minutes while reading aloud a list of letter strings. This will involve placing electrode pads on your scalp, which are held in place by rubber straps. After this EEG and eye movement recordings will be taken again while performing the same language processing tasks. In the second session which takes place the following week, EEG and eye movement recordings will again be taken while you perform the same language and cognitive tasks. 

All experimental sessions will be conducted in the Zochonis Building, Brunswick Street, University of Manchester. You will be reimbursed for your time and effort.  If you are interested in taking part please contact the following researchers who will provide you with further information and answer any queries you may have.


Name of Research Ethics Committee: University of Manchester ethics committee 2 

University Ethics Committee number and/or NHS Reference number (if applicable): 13051


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