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Humboldt Research Fellow joins Division of Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Photo: Universitätsklinikum Erlangen

Prof. Dr. L. Gabel, neuroscientist at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania (USA) and Alexander-von-Humboldt Research Fellow, will carry out a clinical study about dyslexia in children with German as a mother tongue at the Division of Child and Adolescent Mental Health. A Humboldt Research Fellowship for postdoctoral researchers allows scientists and scholars of all nationalities and disciplines to carry out long-term research in Germany. The Humboldt Foundation grants approximately 500 Humboldt Research Fellowships for postdoctoral researchers and experienced researchers annually. Applicants choose their own topic of research and their academic host.

In the US, Prof. Dr. L. Gabel could demonstrate a correlation between reading performance in children, a certain gene and the processing of visual-spatial perception. Children with lower reading performance also performed significantly less well when trying to solve 3-D-maze tasks on the computer. In Germany, Prof. Dr. L. Gabel will investigate if this correlations also apply in the context of a so-called transparent language like German where each letter corresponds to a sound – as opposed to English, where one letter can be associated to various sounds.

We  are quite happy to have Lisa Gabel here at our Division for the next one and a half years. For a successful study, it is important that as many children as possible participate – children who have trouble reading as well as children who are good at it.

says Professor Dr. G. Moll, Head of the Division of Child and Adolescent Mental Health. To that end, the division is seeking partnerships both within FAU and with schools. Interested families are also welcome to participate.

About 5% of the population are dyslexic. In the past 20 years, progress in research has revealed some of the underlying causes of this reading-and-writing disability. However, further efforts are necessary to achieve an even better understanding and identify new and improved treatment options. Children with learning disabilities such as dyslexia who do not receive special support are more likely to develop behavioral or emotional  problems, possibly even psychiatric disorders. Early detection and intervention are key for the children to  reach their full potential.

Further information

Prof. Dr. L. Gabel
Phone: 09131 85-39122

Source: Universitätsklinikum Erlangen