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New tool diagnoses learning difficulties in children

20th October 2006

A new tool is set to help doctors identify children with learning disabilities.

The BioMAP (Biological Marker of Auditory Processing) system has been developed by researchers at Northwestern University's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory.

It is now commercially available and is expected to help identify those children between the ages of eight and 12 who have dyslexia and other language-based learning difficulties.

BioMAP involves a child watching a video while electrodes measure the brain's responses to various sounds, which then determines whether the child has difficulty in encoding sounds.

Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern University's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, states that difficulty in distinguishing between speech sounds can signify problems in a variety of learning areas, including reading and writing.

"The beauty of BioMAP as a diagnostic tool is that it does not require a child to follow directions or perform an assigned task," she says.

"Instead, it objectively measures whether a child's nervous system is able to accurately translate sounds into brain waves."

The new tool is licensed by Bio-logic Systems.