I received my masters degree in 2009. After a loooong review process, the research that I conducted for my masters thesis - my first first-author publication - is finally published and online!
Before beginning the research I'm currently doing, I started grad school conducting MRI research of reading and dyslexia. In this study, I established a connection between two disparate lines of reading research, by showing a relationship between reading experience and cortical thickness in parts of the brain we know to be involved in reading.
This study investigated relationships among cortical thickness in the left-hemisphere reading network, and reading skill and experience in adult nonimpaired readers. Given the relationship between print exposure and reading, it is possible that print exposure is related to cortical structure. The pattern of correlations indicated that individuals with higher print exposure had better reading skills and thicker cortices. Furthermore, print exposure accounted for unique variance in cortical thickness in part of the left-hemisphere reading network after accounting for reading skill. This suggests that some of the variation in cortical thickness in adults might be attributable to reading experience, independently of reading skill.
Expect a more elaborate post on this next week.
Goldman, J.G., & Manis, F. (2012). Relationships Among Cortical Thickness, Reading Skill, and Print Exposure in Adults Scientific Studies of Reading, 1-14 DOI: 10.1080/10888438.2011.620673