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

From: ignacio dalton (
Date: Wed Sep 20 2006 - 18:32:44 PDT

Once again debate is on the road.
  As literacy specialist, the acceptance of genes related to reading skills depends on the theoretical backgroundīs scholars.
  I agree that in postmodern era we must open our boundaries to consider different factors which can condition one situation... but genes on reading skills is merely "absurd" in current times. Biological factors may condition but no determine reading abilities
  I think the results of this " updated" research undermine lots of evidence about the childrenīs abilities in readingīs development. From Kenneth Goodmanīs " whole language" to other current socio constructivismīs point of view, to mention such a few, consider reading as a social- cognitive activity rather than biological perspective.
  I suggest readers and XCMA scholars to search international reading association site for further information about scholarly research in reading and related fields, such as literacy, childrenīs play and literacy, etc, etc, etc.
  In my opinion, we have different options when we read this kind of news about reading chromosoms, genes and biological perspective: to support it or ignore it!
Andy Blunden <> wrote:
  I think the claim that a specific cognitive dysfunction such as autism is
something we are born with, is different from headlining "Study finds
reading skills depend on genes," isn't it? And if you test that headline
claim statistically, then genetic disorders get stirred into the mix along
with upbringing and everything else.
At 03:46 PM 20/09/2006 +0200, you wrote:
>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
> > ...
> > statistics.
> >
> > Andy
> >
> > 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.
> >>
> >>Phil
> >>
> >>"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
> >>factor."
> >>
> >>On 20/09/2006, at 4:58 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:
> >>
> >>>Can anyone deal with this stupidity:
> >>>newsitems/200609/s1745337.htm
> >>>
> >>>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!
> >>>
> >>>Andy
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>_______________________________________________
> >>>xmca mailing list
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >>_______________________________________________
> >>xmca mailing list
> >>
> >>
> >
> > Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435, AIM
> > identity: AndyMarxists mobile 0409 358 651
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > xmca mailing list
> >
> >
> >
>Katarina A. Rodina
>MSc in Speech-Language Pathology,
>PhD-Research Fellow,
>Department of Special Needs Education
>University of Oslo
>P.O.Box 1140 Blindern
>NO-0318 OSLO,Norway
>Phone: +47 22 85 81 38
>Fax: +47 22 85 80 21
>xmca mailing list

Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435, AIM
identity: AndyMarxists mobile 0409 358 651

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