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A Neural Signature found in brains of people with Dyslexia may explain why they have difficulty in Learning to Read: Study

For dyslexics the brain activity remained high while listening to a consistent voice and not to multiple voices

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New York, December 22, 2016: A distinctive neural signature found in the brains of people with dyslexia may explain why they have difficulty in learning to read and adapting to sensory inputs, according to a new study.

The brain typically adapts rapidly to sensory input, such as the sound of a person’s voice or images of faces and objects, as a way to make processing more efficient.

But, the study found that for individuals with dyslexia, the adaptation was on average nearly half.

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In dyslexic people, the brain has a diminished ability to acclimate to a repeated input — a trait known as neural adaptation.

For example, when dyslexic students see the same word repeatedly, brain regions involved in reading do not show the same adaptation seen in typical readers.

This suggests that the brain’s plasticity, which underpins its ability to learn new things, is reduced, said John Gabrieli, professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US.

“It’s a difference in the brain that’s not about reading per se, but it’s a difference in perceptual learning that’s pretty broad,” Gabrieli added.

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For the study, the team used MRI technique where the brains of young adults with and without reading difficulties were scanned as they listened to a series of words read by either four different speakers or a single speaker.

The results revealed that the dyslexic participants showed much less adaptation to hearing words said by a single speaker.

Further, for dyslexics the brain activity remained high while listening to a consistent voice and not to multiple voices, suggesting that they did not adapt as much.

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Again, when researchers looked at adaptation to visual stimuli, they saw much less adaptation in participants with dyslexia.

“This suggests that adaptation deficits in dyslexia are general, across the whole brain,” noted Tyler Perrachione, assistant professor at Boston University in Massachusetts, US.

The study appears in the journal Neuron. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google, Facebook face greater scrutiny in Australia. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?