Staff Member Projects

Language vdBroek-cognitive neuralCognitive and neural systems supporting the development of reading comprehension

Paul van den Broek (with L. van Leijenhorst)

The two main goals of the research that is conducted by Paul van den Broek and his collegues are to understand the cognitive and neural systems that support the development of reading comprehension and other scholarly tasks in children, adolescents and adults, and to draw implications for intervention and other educational applications.

This basic interest drives the research in our lab leads to more specific questions of which two examples follow here:


  • How does brain development support our ability to comprehend and learn from texts? What neural systems mediate these changes with development, and does this change over time as children and adolescents develop an increasingly sophisticated representation of the content and meaning of texts? Little is known about the neural processes and structures involved in reading comprehension. We use neuroimaging techniques, such as fMRI, EEG, and MEG, to gain an understanding of the neural correlates of these functions across development.
  • In what way does the development of cognitive control functions (e.g. Working Memory, Attention) contribute to age related change in reading comprehension, as well as in other scholarly tasks such as math, and learning in general? We examine these questions using both behavioral and neuroimaging methods.