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Olson, Richard Kellogg

Professor Emerita/Emeritus


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research overview

  • Professor Olson’s research since 1980 has focused on the etiology and remediation of reading disabilities. Data from identical and fraternal twins have been used to assess genetic and environmental influences on both individual differences and deficits in reading and related skills. Genetic linkage analyses conducted with colleagues in the Colorado Learning Disabilities Research Center have isolated a region on the short arm of chromosome 6 that accounts for a small but statistically significant average genetic influence on dyslexia. Genetic association analyses have identified a specific gene (DCDC2) in this area whose minor allele is one of those associated with dyslexia, and with neuronal migration in the developing mammalian brain. Professor Olson has also explored the use of computers in the schools to provide the extraordinary environmental support that many children with dyslexia may need to significantly improve their reading skills.


  • Behavior genetics, learning disabilities, dyslexia, reading development, ADHD, molecular genetics, remediation for reading disabilities


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