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Meet the Team

Maryanne Wolf, Ph.D.

John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service
Director, Center for Reading and Language Research

Maryanne Wolf received her doctorate from Harvard University in the Department of Human Development and Psychology in the Graduate School of Education, where she began her work on the neurological underpinnings of reading, language, and dyslexia. Professor Wolf was awarded the Distinguished Professor of the Year Award from the Massachusetts Psychological Association, and also the Teaching Excellence Award from the American Psychological Association.

She was a Fulbright Fellow in Germany where she conducted research on dyslexia in German-speaking children. Her current research in collaboration with Dr. Pat Bowers concerns a new conceptualization of developmental dyslexia, the Double-Deficit Hypothesis. This work was the subject of a recent special issue of the Journal of Learning Disabilities. Along with colleagues Dr. Robin Morris and Dr. Maureen Lovett, Professor Wolf has been awarded a NICHD Shannon Award for Innovative Research and several multiyear NICHD grants to investigate new approaches to reading intervention.

She is the author of the RAVE-O Intervention Program, an evidence-based fluency comprehension program for struggling readers that has proven successful in two major federal studies.

She received the Norman Geschwind Lecture Award from the International Dyslexia Association for neuroscience research in dyslexia. She has edited the book, Dyslexia, Fluency, and the Brain and is the author of Proust and the Squid: The story and science of the reading brain.

Selected Publications


  • Wolf, M. & Gottwald, S. (To appear, 2016) What It Means to Read: A Literacy Agenda for the Digital Age. Oxford University Press. In Series, Literary Agenda, Editor: Phillip Davis.

  • Wolf, M. (To appear, 2016) . Letters to the Good Reader: The Contemplative Dimension in the Future Reading Brain. New York: Harper Collins.

  • Wolf, M. (2007). Proust and the squid: The story and science of the reading brain. NY: HarperCollins. Paperback. 2008. + 13 Translations and Audio version:

  • High Bridge (Audio Version); Spektrum ,Springer Verlag (German); Vita & Penserio (Italian); Ediciones B (Spanish); Icon Books (United Kingdom); Intershift (Japanese); New Translations from 2009 to 2013: Czech, Greek, Turkish, Korean, Chinese (2 versions: Traditional Chinese; Simplified Chinese), Swedish, French with Preface by Bernard Stiegler.

  • Wolf, M. (Ed.) (2001). Dyslexia, Fluency, and the Brain. Timonium, MD: York Press.

  • Wolf, M., McQuillan, M., & Radwin, E. (Eds.). (1980, 2nd ed., 1983). Thought and language/Language and reading. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Educational Review, (2nd Ed.), 732 pp.

Representative List of Articles/ Essays

  • Wolf, M., & Reid, G. (2015). Intervention and Treatment Approaches to Dyslexia. Nature Reviews. Special Issue on Dyslexia,Edited by Al Galaburda.

  • Wolf, M., Gottwald, S., Galyean, T., Morris, R., & Breazeal, C. (2014) How an understanding of the brain can contribute to the eradication of poverty in the 21st Century. In A. Battro (Ed.) Proceedings from the Bread and Brain Meetings, Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Vatican.

  • Wolf, M. (2014) The reading brain, global literacy: Implications for the socially excluded peoples of the world. In J. Sachs (Ed.). Proceedings from the Socially Excluded Peoples Meeting,Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Vatican.

  • Wolf, M. (2014) Marcus Aurelius and the Continuing Dyslexia Debate. Dyslexia Examiner.

  • Powers, N.R., Eicher, J.D., Bosson-Heenan, J., Miller, L.L., Kong, Y., Smith, S.D., Pennington, B.F., Olson, R.K., Boada,R., Frijters, J.C., Gottwald, S., Hill, D., Jacobson, L.A., Lovett, M., Mahone, E.M., Willcutt, E., Wolf, M., Ring, S.M., Gruen, J.R. (2015) The Polymorphic Transcriptional Regulatory Element READ1 Epistatically Influences Reading and Language, with both Deleterious and Protective Alleles.

  • Wolf, M. (2013). The wraith of memory. American Interest.

  • Pierce, M., Wechsler-Zimring, A., Noam, G., Wolf, M., & Katzir, T. (2013). Behavioral problems and reading difficulties among language minority and monolingual urban elementary school students. Reading Psychology.

  • Wolf, M. & Gottwald, S. (2012). The unfolding legacy of Carol Chomsky: How insights into child language changed the development of written language. Chapter in N. Chomsky and M. Piatelli-Palmerini (Eds.), Festschrift for Carol Chomsky. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

  • Wolf, M. (2012). How the brain adapted itself to read: The first writing systems. In S. Blum (Ed.), Making sense of language. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

  • Wolf, M. & Ullman-Shade, C. (2012). The emerging, evolving reading brain in a digital culture: Implications for new readers, children with reading difficulties, and children without schools. Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology, 11 (3).

  • Kovelman, I., Norton, E., Gaab, N., Christodoulou, I., Lieberman, D., Triantafyllou, C., Wolf, M., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S., & Gabrieli, J. (2012). Brain basis of phonological awareness for auditory language in children and its dysfunction in dyslexia. Cerebral Cortex. first published online June 21, 2011 DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhr094

  • Moritz, C., Yapolsky, S., Papadelis, G., Thomson, J., & Wolf, M. (2012). Links between early rhythm skills, musical training, and phonological awareness. Reading and Writing.

  • Morris, R., Lovett, M., Wolf, M. et al. (2012). Multi-component approaches to reading intervention. Journal of Learning Disabilities. 45 (2), 99-127.

  • Norton, E. S. & Wolf, M. (2012). Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) and reading fluency: Implications for understanding and treatment of reading disabilities. Annual Review of Psychology. 63. DOI:10.1146/annurev psy 120710-100431.

  • Frijters, J.C., Lovett, M.W., Steinbach, K.A., Wolf, M., Sevcik, R.A., & Morris, R.D.(2011). Neurocognitive predictors of reading outcomes for children with reading disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities.

  • O'Brien, B.A., Miller, L., Wolf, M., Morris, R., Lovett, M. (2011). Orthographic processing efficiency in developmental dyslexia: An investigation of age and treatment factors at the sublexical level. Annals of Dyslexia.

  • Morris, R.D., Lovett, M.W., Wolf, M., Sevcik, R.A., Steinbach, K.A., Frijters, J.C., & Shapiro, M. (2011). Multiple-component remediation for developmental reading disabilities: IQ, SES, and Race as factors on remedial outcome. Journal of Learning Disabilities.Volume XX(X), May 5, 2010, pp 1-29.

  • Wolf, M. (2010) The RAVE-O Program. Longview, CO: Cambium/ Sopris Learning

  • Wolf, M. (2010). We are the product of how we read. The Observer: The New Review,London.

  • Pierce, M., Katzir, T., Wolf, M., Noam, G. (2010). Examining the construct of reading among dysfluent urban children: A factor analysis approach. Journal of Literacy Research,42, pp 124-158.

  • Wolf, M. (2010). Our �deep reading' brain: Its digital evolution poses questions. Nieman Reports,Summer.

  • Wolf, M. (2010). Cassandra's thoughts about reading and time. Perspectives on Language and Literacy, 39-40.

  • Wolf, M. & Gottwald, S. (2010). How what we know about language effects what and how we read. English Career, Global Education Association in Taiwan, June, 26-33.

  • Wolf, M., Gottwald, S., Orkin, M. (2009). �Serious Word Play': How multiple linguistic emphases in RAVE-O instruction improve multiple reading skills. Special issue of Perspectives on Language and Literacy,International Dyslexia Association, Fall, 21-24.

  • Wolf, M., Gottwald, S., Miller, L., Norton, E., & Galante, W. (2009). How the origins of the reading brain instruct our knowledge of reading intervention. Chapter in P. McCardle & K. Pugh (Eds.), Helping children learn to read: Current issues and new directions in the integration of cognition, neurobiology and genetics of reading and dyslexia. Austin: Pro-Ed.

  • Wolf, M., Barzillai, M., Miller, L., Gottwald, S., Spencer, K., Norton, E. (2009). The RAVE-O Intervention: Connecting neuroscience to classroom practice. Mind, Brain, and Education. Special Issue. 3(2), p. 84-93.

  • Wolf, M. & Barzillai, M. (2009). The importance of deep reading" in a digital culture. Educational Leadership. (Special Issue on Future of Literacy) 66, 6, p. 32-35.

  • Wolf, M. (2008). Dyslexia and the Japanese reading brain. Translation into Japanese for Journal for Japanese Academy of Learning Disabilities.

  • Wise, J., Pae, H-K., Wolfe, C., Sevcik,, R., Morris, D., Lovett, M., & Wolf, M. (2008). Phonological awareness and rapid naming skills of children with reading disabilities and children with reading disabilities who are at-risk for mathematics difficulties. Journal of Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 23, 125-136.

  • Wolf, M. (2008). A triptych of the reading brain: Evolution, development, pathology, and its intervention. Chapter in A. Damasio, K. Fischer, & P. Lena, (Eds). The educated brain. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

  • Cohen, E., Sevcik, R., Wolf, M., Lovett, M., & Morris, R. (2008). Integrating the PHAST and RAVE-O programs for struggling readers. In M. Kuhn and P. Schwanenflugel (Eds.), Fluency in the classroom. NY: Guilford Press.

  • Katzir, T., Kim, Y-S., Wolf, M., Morris, R., & Lovett, M. (2007). The varieties pathways to dysfluent reading. Comparing subtypes of children with dyslexia at letter, word, and connected text levels of reading. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41(1), 47-66.

  • Wise, J.C., Sevcik, R.A., Morris, R.D.,Lovett, M.W., & Wolf, M. (2007). The relationship among receptive and expressive vocabulary, listening comprehension, pre-reading skills, word identification skills, and reading comprehension by children with reading disabilities. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research,, 50(4), 1-17.

  • Wise, J.C., Sevcik, R.A., Morris, R.D., Lovett, M.W., & Wolf, M. (2007). The growth of phonological awareness by children with reading disabilities: A result of semantic knowledge or knowledge of grapheme-phoneme correspondences? Scientific Studies of Reading, 11(2), 151-164.

  • Wolf, M. (2007). Reading Worrier. Essay for Powell's Books.

  • Pierce, M., Katzir, T., Wolf, M. & Noam, G. (2006). Clusters of second and third grade dysfluent urban readers. Reading and Writing, 20(9), 885-907.

  • Katzir, T., Kim, Y-S, Wolf, M., Kennedy, B., Lovett, M. & Morris, R. (2006). The relationship of spelling recognition, RAN, and phonological awareness to reading skills in older poor readers and younger reading-matched controls. Reading and Writing, 19, 845-872.

  • Katzir, T., Wolf, M., O'Brien, Kennedy, B., Lovett, M., & Morris, R. (2006). Reading fluency: The whole is more than the parts. Annals of Dyslexia, 56(1), 51-83.

  • Wolf, M., & O'Brien, B. (2006). From the Sumerians to images of the reading brain: Insights for reading theory and intervention. Chapter in Glenn D. Rosen (Ed.) The Dyslexic Brain: New Pathways in Neuroscience Discovery. Pages 5-19. Timonium, MD: York Press.

  • Wise, J., Sevcik, R., Morris, R., Lovett, M., & Wolf, M. (2006). The growth of phonological awareness: Response to reading intervention by children with reading disabilities who exhibit typical or below-average language skills. Scientific Studies of Reading, 11(2), 151-164.

  • Wise, J., Sevcik, R., Morris, R., Lovett, M., & Wolf, M. (2006). The relationship among receptive and expressive vocabulary, phonological awareness, and word identification skills by children with reading disabilities. Journal of Speech, Language, & Hearing Research, 50,1093-1109.

  • Wolf, M. (2005). �I have always been a teacher". In W. Vufkist, B. Beins, C. Burke, T. Benson, R.. Siney, and A. Amdstadter (Eds.), The teaching of psychology in autobiography: Perspectives from psychology's best teachers. American Psychological Association.

  • Pae, H., Wise, J., Cirino, P., Sevcik, R.., Lovett, M., Wolf, M. & Morris, R.. (2005). The Woodcock Reading Mastery Test (WRMT): Impact of normative changes. Assessment, 12(3), 347-357.

  • Wolf, M., O'Brien, B., Gottwald, S., & Christodoulou, J. (2005). Letters, neurons, and Pascal: A triptych of the reading brain's evolution, development, pathology, and intervention. In K. Fischer & A. Battro (Eds.), Mind, Brain, and Education. (p. 181-197). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

  • Wolf, M., & Ashby, J. (2005). A brief history of time, phonology, and other dimensions of developmental dyslexia. In K. Fischer, J. Bernstein, & M.H. Immordino-Young (Eds.), Mind, Brain, and Education in Learning Disorders. p. 61-79. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

  • Wolf, M., O'Brien, B., & Katzir-Cohen, T. (2005). On issues of time, fluency, and intervention. Perspektiva-The Israeli Orton Dyslexia Association Journal.

  • Katzir, T., Kim, Y., Wolf, M., Kennedy, B., Morris, R., Lovett, M. (2005). Orthographic recognition and reading skills. Journal of Reading and Writing. 845-872.

  • Katzir, T., Breznitz, A., Shaul, S., & Wolf, M. (2004). Universal and the unique: A cross-linguistic investigation of reading and reading fluency in Hebrew-and English-speaking children with dyslexia. Journal of Reading and Writing, 17 (7-8), 739-768.

  • Misra, M., Katzir, T., Wolf, M. & Poldrack, P. (2004). Neural systems underlying Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) in skilled readers: Unraveling the puzzle of RAN-reading relationships. Scientific Studies of Reading. Special Issue on Neuroanatomy of Reading, 8, 241-256.

  • Donnelly Adams, K., Joffe BenAryeh, T., & Wolf, M. (2004). RAVE-O: Bringing fluency intervention to the classroom. Dyslexia Contact. Journal of British Dyslexia Association.

  • Katzir-Cohen, T., O'Rourke, A.G., O'Brien, B., & Wolf, M. (2004). Developmental dyslexia. In Human Ecology: An Encyclopedia of Children, Families, Communities, and Environments. Denver, CO: ABC-CLIO.

  • Wolf, M. & Kennedy, R. (2003). How the origins of written language instruct us to teach: A response to Steven Strauss. Educational Researcher. 26-30.

  • Wolf, M. & Deeney, T. (2003). Dyslexia. Oxford International Encyclopedia of Linguistics. New York: Oxford.

  • Wolf, M., O'Brien, B., Donnelly Adams, K., Joffe, T., Jeffery, J., Lovett, M., & Morris, R. (2003). Working for time": Reflections on naming speed, reading fluency, and intervention. In B. Foorman (Ed.), Preventing and remediating difficulties: Bringing science to scale (pp. 355-379). Timonium, MD: York Press.

  • Wolf, M., Goldberg O'Rourke, A., Gidney, C., Lovett, M., Cirino, P., & Morris, R. (2002). The second deficit: An investigation of the independence of phonological and naming-speed deficits in developmental dyslexia. Reading and Writing, 15, 43-72.

  • Wolf, M. (2002). Response to clinical judgments in identifying and teaching children with language-based reading difficulties. In R. Bradley, L. Danielson, & D.P. Hallahan (Eds.) Identification of learning disabilities: Research to practice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

  • Cirino, P., Chin, C., Sevcik, R., Wolf, M., Lovett, M., & Morris, R. (2002). Measuring socioeconomic status: Reliability and preliminary validity for different approaches. Assessment, 9, 145-155.

  • Coch, D., Misra, M., Wolf, M., Holcomb, P. (2002). Word and picture processing in children: An event-related potential study. Developmental Neuropsychology, 22 (1), 373-406.

  • Cirino, P., Rashid, F., Sevcik, R., Lovett, M., Frijters, J., Wolf, M., & Morris, R. (2002). Psychometric stability of nationally normed and experimental decoding and related measures in children with reading disability. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 35 (6), 525-538.

  • Morris, R., Lazarus-Benbenisty, L., Krawiecki, N., Wolf, M. (2002). Naming abilities in children with brain tumors. In D. Molfese & V.J. Molfese, (Eds.), The impact of brain injury on language functioning in childhood, (pp. 225-255). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

  • Gidney, C., & Wolf, M. (2002). Learning to write and read. In Pro-Active Parenting, by the Tufts Faculty of the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development, (pp ). (Eds.). New York: Berkley (Division of Penguin).

  • Wolf, M. & Katzir-Cohen, T. (2001). Reading fluency and its intervention. Scientific Studies of Reading, 5, 211-238. (Special Issue on Fluency. Editors: E. Kameenui & D. Simmons).

  • Wolf, M. (2001). Seven dimensions in time. In M.Wolf (Ed.), Dyslexia, fluency, and the brain (pp. ix-xix). Timonium, MD: York Press.

  • Wolf, M. & O'Brien, B. (2001). On issues of time, fluency, and intervention. In A. Fawcett & R. Nicolson (Eds.), Dyslexia: Theory and Best Practice, (pp. 124-140). London: Whur Publishers.

  • Deeney, T., Wolf, M., & Goldberg, A. (2001). �I like to take my own sweet time": Case Study of a child with naming-speed deficits and reading disabilities. Journal of Special Education, 35, 145-155 (Special Issue on Case Studies in Dyslexia; Editor: R. Felton).

  • Wolf, M. & Bowers, P. (2000). The question of naming-speed deficits in developmental reading disability: An introduction to the Double-Deficit Hypothesis. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 33, p.322-324. (Special Issue on the Double-Deficit Hypothesis; Editors: M. Wolf & P. Bowers).

  • Wolf, M., Bowers, P., & Biddle, K. (2000). Naming-speed processes, timing, and reading: A conceptual review. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 33, 387-407. (Special Issue on the Double-Deficit Hypothesis; Editors: M. Wolf & P. Bowers).

  • Wolf, M., Miller, L., & Donnelly, K. (2000). RAVE-O: A comprehensive fluency-based reading intervention program. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 33, 375-386. (Special Issue on the Double-Deficit Hypothesis: Editors: M. Wolf & P. Bowers).

  • Wolf, M. & Deeney, T. (2000) A new direction: Fluency, phonology, and speakers of African-American English. Perspectives. The International Dyslexia Association. 35-36.

  • Wolf, M. (2000) A Chair's View of the NDRF Crete Conference: Time, Fluency, and Developmental Dyslexia. National Dyslexia Research Foundation News. 4(1), 4-7.

  • Wolf, M., & Bowers, P. (1999). The Double-Deficit Hypothesis" for the developmental dyslexias. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 1-24.