Head and Coordination


  • Dr. Alina Jurcoane
  • Hanno Pauly, Dipl.-Psych.
  • Cerisa Stawowsky, Dipl.-Biol.
  • Susanne Weber, Dipl.-Psych.


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(until Sept. 2014)




11/2008 – 12/2017

Project ReAL

Neurobehavioral Development of Reading and Arithmetic Skills - A Longitudinal Study

The project ReAL examines the development of children's reading and calculation skills over the course of elementary school, using a combination of behavioral and neurophysiological (EEG, MRI) measures.

The project ReAL (Neurobehavioral Development of Reading and Arithmetic Skills - A Longitudinal Study) aims at combining methods from developmental psychology and cognitive neurosciences on a longitudinal basis. For this purpose, elementary school children were followed from first to fourth grade. A special focus lies on the combined analysis of reading and arithmetic skills.

The participating children fulfilled three testing sessions per year: In a first session, the children’s strategy use was assessed while they read words and solve arithmetic problems of diverse complexity. For this purpose, the children were interviewed and their overt behavior was videotaped. In a second session, electroencephalography (EEG) was used to record the electrical activity on the scalp surface of the participants while they worked on similar tasks. EEG allows for assessing the interplay of neural networks at a very high temporal resolution. In the final session, the children were asked to perform the reading and arithmetic tasks in a magnetic resonance scanner. Complementary to EEG, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) enables the detection of neural activity at a very high spatial resolution. Additionally, structural MRI scans were collected to assess differences in cortical grey and white matter that can be related to interindividual differences in reading and arithmetic skills and strategy use.

In this longitudinal study the phase of testing is completed, but data analysis and the publication of results are going on.

Selected Publications

Lindberg, S., Lonnemann, J., Linkersdörfer, J., Biermeyer, E., Mähler, C., Hasselhorn, M., & Lehmann, M. (2011).  Early strategies of elementary school children's single word reading. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 24(5), 556–570. doi:10.1016/j.jneuroling.2011.02.003

Linkersdörfer, J., Jurcoane, A., Lindberg, S., Kaiser, J., Hasselhorn, M., Fiebach, C. J., & Lonnemann, J. (2015). The association between gray matter volume and reading proficiency - A longitudinal study of beginning readers. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27, 308–318. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00710

Linkersdörfer, J., Lonnemann, J., Lindberg, S., Hasselhorn, M., & Fiebach, C. J. (2012).  Grey matter alterations co-localize with functional abnormalities in developmental dyslexia: An ALE meta-analysis. PLoS ONE, 7(8), e43122. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043122

Lonnemann, J., Linkersdörfer, J., Hasselhorn, M., & Lindberg, S. (2013). Developmental changes in the association between approximate number representations and addition skills in elementary school children. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, 783. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00783