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Mike Seidenberg  

Professor & Author of "Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can’t, and What to Do About It"

Mark Seidenberg is Vilas Professor and Donald O. Hebb Professor in the department of psychology at the University of Wisconsin. He is a cognitive neuroscientist who has studied reading and dyslexia since the disco era. He grew up in Chicago, where he attended the University of Chicago Laboratory School, founded by John Dewey in the 1890s as a laboratory to work out his philosophical ideas. Seidenberg received a Ph.D. and a few other degrees from Columbia University in New York, where he lived for a time with Nim Chimpsky, a chimpanzee who was being taught sign language and mostly talked about food, a shared interest.

His reading research addresses the nature of skilled reading, how children learn to read, dyslexia, and the brain bases of reading, using the tools of modern cognitive neuroscience: behavioral experiments, computational models, and neuroimaging. His 2017 book, "Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can’t, and What to Do About It," describes the disconnection between reading science and educational practices, which makes it more difficult for children to become skilled readers, and how it could be overcome. His current research focuses on how differences in language experience contribute to achievement gaps in reading, and how they could be addressed. He lives in Madison WI and prefers print versions over e-books, except for travel.

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