Biological Psychologist Dr Elsje van Bergen receives Outstanding Paper Award

Dr Elsje van Bergen from the department of Biological Psychology has been awarded the Outstanding Paper Award at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading in Halifax, Canada. The biannual award (of $500) is intended to recognize an outstanding paper published in the society’s flagship journal by a scholar who has earned his or her doctorate within the past 7 years.

19-07-2017 | 12:25

It is well-established that dyslexia runs in families. The award-winning paper shows for the first time that putative cognitive causes of dyslexia are only partly involved in the transmission of risk from parent to child. The transmission seems to be mainly genetic rather than environmental. The findings provide important insights about intergenerational transmission of a foundational academic skill and has implications for dyslexia diagnosis. Moreover, the novel approach can advance other psychological fields. That is, the method provides an approach for clarifying parent-offspring resemblance by studying mediation. This method could be used to investigate mediation by other cognitive skills or environmental or brain measures.

The paper is one of a series of papers based on a study led by Dr van Bergen in which hundreds of children and their parents were tested in science museum NEMO. She conducted the study as a Rubicon postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Oxford. Currently she is funded by a VENI fellowship to study scholastic achievement within the Netherlands Twin Register.

The winning paper (open access)
News item by NWO on the winning paper (in Dutch)
NEMO’s Science Live
Netherlands Twin Register

Elsje van Bergen