Re: [xmca] reading ability is genetic!? (read this one!)

From: Emily Duvall (
Date: Wed Sep 20 2006 - 11:08:20 PDT

For more on statistics and assessment, Grigorenko also co-authored, with
Sternberg, R. J., & Grigorenko, E. L. (2002). Dynamic testing. New York:
Cambridge University Press.
They give some history of dynamic assessment, concentrate the swelling
number of leading models of dynamic assessment into what they term
‘clusters’ of dynamic testing (2002, p.47). They distinguish four
clusters: metacognitive interventions targeted at teaching generalizable
concepts and principles (i.e., Feuerstein), approaches that involve
learning within the test (i.e. Guthke, 1982; Brown et al), methods that
include restructuring the test situation (i.e. Budoff; Carlson & Weidl),
and examples which involve training a single cognitive function (i.e.
Spector 1992; PeÑa 1992, 2000).
They present some interesting data in terms of cognitive modifiability
using DA.
~ Emily

David Preiss wrote:

>Hi all,
>For what is worth, as you mentioned Elena Grigorenko, I think she
>illustrates that you could work on genetics and be an environmentalist as
>well. Elena is a great example of an interesting, interactional, genetic
>approach. For topics beyond dyslexia, she has produced several volumes
>dealing with the interaction between environment and genetics that are worth
>reading. You might found them in ERLBAUM´s website. As for the use of
>statistics, I don't see them as incompatible with CHAT. Indeed, Psychology
>of Literacy by Scribner & Cole rests on multivariate regression analyses!
>-----Mensaje original-----
>De: [] En
>nombre de Katarina Rodina
>Enviado el: Miércoles, 20 de Septiembre de 2006 9:47
>Para: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>Asunto: Re: [xmca] reading ability is genetic!? (read this one!)
>environment vs. inheritance as etiological factors for learning (in this
>case developmental dyslexia dysabilities is one of the "eternal" debates
>in cognitive science). Elena Grigorenko (a genetician and psychologist) is
>a specialist in this field of research. She claims that one of the most
>important causes for reading dysabilities (dyslexia) is inheritance.
>Together with collegues from The University of Yale, she has found a
>second gene in the 6th chromosome, that may cause dyslexia. There are also
>scholars claiming that dyslexia depends on the cultural context, so that
>in different cultures, there will be different kinds of causes for
>I agree about the use and abuse of statistical methods. Quantitative
>research approach, typically positivistic, is somewhat dissonant in our
>postmodern times...
>On Wed, September 20, 2006 14:35, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>Here's a paper by this group:
>>They prove that differential reading ability in people is genetic using
>>At 05:51 PM 20/09/2006 +0700, you wrote:
>>>I poked my nose into the paper and found the following, which may
>>>explain the psycholinguistic framework they're working within.
>>>"Another key issue that we wish to explore is the role of semantics.
>>>One possibility that needs to be considered is that the independent
>>>genetic variance that we have found to be associated with irregular
>>>word reading in fact reflects the genetic effect of semantics. That
>>>is, as irregular words activate semantics, while nonwords do not,
>>>this semantic factor accounts for the necessity to propose
>>>independent genetic influences on these two reading skills (a
>>>hypothesis consistent with connectionist models such as those of
>>>Plaut et al., 1996). This possibility can be explicitly examined
>>>within a twin sample by separately assessing semantic performance in
>>>addition to irregular word and nonword reading (for instance by
>>>verbally asking subjects to define words). If irregular word reading
>>>cannot be achieved without semantics, this measured semantic
>>>performance should load on the same genetic factor that explains
>>>irregular word reading. If, on the other hand, semantics is a
>>>cognitive module independent of lexical processing, then a good fit
>>>to these three variables should require a new, additional genetic
>>>On 20/09/2006, at 4:58 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>>Can anyone deal with this stupidity:
>>>>I haven't read the research and it's not my discipline, but I heard
>>>>the Macquarie University guy interviewed on Radio National last
>>>>year, and his thesis is based on data comparing the reading ability
>>>>of kids arriving at primary school, and presuming that any
>>>>difference in ability must be genetic, because there is nothing
>>>>between birth and arriving at school which he thinks could affect
>>>>ability to learn to read. ... or is there so much of this rubbish
>>>>about that it's not worth contesting? I mean these people get
>>>>government money for purveying this stuff!
>>>>xmca mailing list
>>>xmca mailing list
>> Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435, AIM
>>identity: AndyMarxists mobile 0409 358 651
>>xmca mailing list

He only earns his freedom and his life, who takes them every day by storm.
-- Johann Wolfgang Goethe

Emily D. Duvall Doctoral Candidate and Graduate Assistant-Instructor Language and Literacy Education (LLED) Department of Curriculum and Instruction College of Education Penn State University 256 Chambers Bldg. University Park , PA 16802 814-861-3315 (home) 814-404-6175 (cell) 814-863-4511 (office) FAX: 814-863-7602

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