Award winning Evidence-Based Intervention that Improves Student Outcomes (Brain Futures)
PATH to Reading/Insight was one of only 10 interventions found to increase executive function and brain fitness for students by Brain Futures, a national non-profit organization. Brain fitness: neuroplasticity reveals that neurocircuitry in the brain is highly malleable, continuing to grow and change for the duration of our lives. Of these 10 interventions PATH training was the fastest and most effective in improving reading, attention, & memory skills.
Who PATH to Reading/Insight Helps
PATH to Reading/Insight helps children starting at the age of 5 and all adults. It is used extensively by people with Dyslexia, Slow Readers, Speech and Language problems, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD and ADHD), Autism, concussions from Traumatic Brain Injuries, mild cognitive impairments (MCI), aging, and adults who want to improve their cognitive skills (attention, memory, reading, multitasking, problem solving) at any age. These populations are helped by speeding up motion cells, improving the brain’s neural timing rapidly.
Why PATH to Reading/Insight developed
PATH (Perception Attention Therapy) to Reading was developed by Dr. Teri Lawton for her PhD Dissertation research to investigate how we see movement in the 1970’s. After a terrible bicycle accident, a short amount of PATH training enabled Dr. Lawton to pass her PhD qualifying exams 11 months later, when her neurologist said it would be at least 14 years. She also discovered that only PATH training helped her own children who had been diagnosed as dyslexic to excel in reading. Seeing other children struggle has inspired her to help others so their children will excel academically.
What is PATH to Reading/Insight
PATH to Reading/Insight is a simple, fun web-app to use on a computer or tablet at home or with a therapist that significantly improves a wide range of reading skills, including reading speed, reading comprehension, word identification, and spelling, in addition to attention and working memory (both visual and auditory). PATH is the only visual and cognitive therapy that improves reading and learning by speeding up slow visual processing. Speeding up the motion cells enables all higher cognitive functions, like attention, memory, and executive function to improve rapidly.
How PATH to Reading/Insight Works
Brain research has discovered that children with reading and attention problems have neurons in their brain’s motion-sensitive visual pathways that have not been fully developed or damaged, and that tuning these pathways is key to improving reading skills. PATH to Reading is a computer program that takes 10 minutes of daily exercises for 12 weeks. PATH trains the brain by using left-right movement of faint, striped, grayscale patterns that move on varied backgrounds. PATH (see Fig. 1 below) is made up of a central, stripped “fish” pattern that moves left or right relative to a background of stationary vertical stripes. There are 20 different patterns used on each training cycle, the center “fish” stripes changing every 5 patterns, and the outside stripes having different widths on every pattern. The brightness of the background and the speed of motion change slowly, becoming progressively more challenging to engage the student. Each session builds upon the previous session, improving function at higher levels in the brain.
Both the “fish” and the background flash on the screen for a short period of time. The task of the student is to indicate the direction of movement by pressing the right or left arrow key. A brief tone is presented after an incorrect response. The contrast (difference in brightness between dark and light bars) is decreased until the student can no longer see the direction the center stripes move correctly 79% of the time (contrast threshold).
There are 24 different levels of complexity, each four levels of complexity slowly increasing in speed of movement from 5 Hz up to 13.3 Hz. See Table below.
Watch this movie to see How PATH to Reading/Insight Works
The width of the stripes in the “fish” maximally activate the motion cells (magno) and the background stripes activate both the motion cells (magno) and pattern cells (parvo). The reason for cycling through the 20 patterns having different width center and background stripes is that these patterns target the pathways required to remediate reading, attention, and many learning challenges.
PATH measures a child’s ability to see these subtle movements and tracks the child’s improvement over time. This discrimination is critical to the act of reading and is not a part of eye-brain function that we are born with – it is a skill that must be learned. Positive feedback helps the child learn quickly. The patterns are designed to activate motion sensitive cells at both early (retinal) and later (cortical) processing levels in the motion pathways.
Deficits in the motion cells cause dyslexia, difficulty isolating and identifying critical visual elements, such as the correct sequence of letters in a word, from the sea of visual features on a page. The incompletely developed motion cells causes a reader to identify the beginning and end of the word after the reader is trying to decode the letters in a word, causing the reader to be overloaded with information and unable to correctly identify the word, as shown in the Figure below. PATH’s direction-discrimination training improves the brain’s neural timing, or processing speed, enabling a reader to first identify the beginning and end of the word and then read the letters in the correct sequence.
How PATH Trains Brain
PATH is Scientifically Proven to Improve Cognitive Functioning
Research shows that a short amount of PATH significantly improves visual and cognitive skills in both children and adults faster and more effectively than existing phonologically-based therapies.
Studies* conducted in public elementary schools in the Ventura, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School Districts found that children who practiced PATH significantly improved their reading fluency, including their ease and enjoyment of reading.
- After 5 sessions: 100% average increase in reading speed
- After 10 sessions: 200% average increase in reading speed
- After 30 sessions: 400-1000% average increase in reading speed
PATH neurotraining also improves cognitive function after a concussion and as you age!
Click here to learn about how PATH to Insight (PATH) neurotraining improves cognitive function rapidly after a concussion or as you age.
To see Summary of How and Why PATH neurotraining is essential for improving brain function and ease of learning: Click Here
To download the Dyslexia Fact Sheet: Click Here
What are Others Saying about PATH?
Teachers, professors, parents, doctors, therapists and students speak to the powerful results experienced from the simple and fun PATH to Reading computer program. (Click here to learn about what others say about PATH to Reading.)