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About Mark Seidenberg
I'm Mark Seidenberg, a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I was originally a psycholinguist but you could call me a cognitive scientist or cognitive neuroscientist and I’d be good with it.
I grew up in Chicago, and went to a few colleges but only Columbia gave me any degrees, including a Ph.D. I was a professor at McGill University and then at the University of Southern California before returning to the Midwest in 2001. I’ve conducted a lot of research on language and reading. Our lab website is http://lcnl.wisc.edu.
My reading research addresses the nature of skilled reading, how children learn to read, and the brain bases of reading and dyslexia, using the tools of modern cognitive neuroscience: behavioral experiments, computational models, and neuroimaging. Recently I've been investigating the causes of chronically low reading among lower income and minority children—so-called “achievement gaps.”
My language research focuses on determining what we know when we know a language, how we acquire this knowledge, and how it’s used in comprehending language. Also how language compares to other human capacities, and to the communicative systems of other species
Language at the Speed of Sight (Basic Books, 2017) is a general audience book about the science of reading and its relevance to reading education.
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Books By Mark Seidenberg
The way we teach reading is not working, and it cannot continue. We have largely abandoned phones-based reading instruction, despite research that supports its importance for word recognition. Rather than treating Black English as a valid dialect and recognizing that speaking one dialect can impact the ability to learn to read in another, teachers simply dismiss it as "incorrect English." And while we press children to develop large vocabularies because we think being a good reader means knowing more words, studies have found that a large vocabulary is only an indication of better pattern recognition.
Understanding the science of reading is more important than ever--for us, and for our children. Seidenberg helps us do so by drawing on cutting-edge research in machine learning, linguistics, and early childhood development. Language at the Speed of Sight offers an erudite and scathing examination of this most human of activities, and concrete proposals for how our society can produce better readers.