About PROMISE Project Research

PROMISE Project Research Program

The PROMISE research team at Columbia is dedicated to studying the underlying causes of learning disabilities and discovering novel therapeutic interventions. To achieve these goals, we are conducting the following neuroimaging and clinical research:

Neuroimaging Research Studies

The PROMISE multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study is aimed at understanding whether abnormalities in the structure, function, and connectivity of the neural circuits that support executive functions and learning contribute to the manifestation of reading disorder in children. We are also studying the unique effects of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder on brain and behavior in children with reading disorder (RD). Recruitment for this study is closed and data analysis is currently underway. 

Clinical Research Studies

We are using statistical methods to describe the different types of learning disabilities observed in the many children who are seen at the PROMISE clinic. To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate learning disabilities and co-occurring mental health challenges in a large clinical sample of low-income, largely minority children. Through this research, we hope to understand which cognitive difficulties predict achievement problems in these children. Additionally, we hope to better understand whether some learning profiles are more likely to co-occur with other mental health disorders than others. We are also studying the influence of additional aspects of development and family history—including language(s) spoken at home and parent level of education—on the occurrence of different learning disabilities in this population.