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Contact Info:
Tufts University
Eliot-Pearson Department
of Child Study and
Human Development
105 College Avenue
Medford, MA 02155

Office: 617.627.3815
Fax: 617.627.3503

CRLR website
Other bio
Curriculum Vitae

Maryanne Wolf
John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service
Director, Center for Reading and Language Research
Affiliated Faculty: Tisch College
Faculty: Cognitive Sciences Program

Harvard University, Ed.D. Human Development and Psychology
Northwestern University, M.A., English Literature
St.Mary's College/Notre Dame, B.A., English Literature

Dyslexia and the Reading Brain
Cognitive Neurosciences
Developmental Psycholinguistics
Reading Development and Intervention
Global Literacy and Technology

Major Awards
National Teaching Award for Universities: American Psychological Association
Distinguished Teacher of the Year: Massachusetts Psychological Association
Fulbright Research Fellowship (Germany)
Alumnae Achievement Award, St. Marys College/Notre Dame
Norman Geschwind Award, International Dyslexia Association
Distinguished Scholarship Award, Tufts University
Shannon Award for Innovative Research, NICHD (with Robin Morris and Maureen Lovett)
Executive Editor in U.S. for Dyslexia
Best 25 Nonfiction Books, Publishers Weekly
Margot Marek Award, New York Branch of International Dyslexia Association
Samuel Orton Award, International Dyslexia Association
Alice Garside Award, Massachusetts International Dyslexia Association
Hall Fellow Lecture Award, Concord Academy
Woman of Science Lecture Award, Museum of Science, Boston
Invited Lectures to Vatican Academy of Sciences Meetings: Neurosciences and Education (Pope John Paul II); Bread and Brain (Pope Frances); Meeting for Socially Disenfranchised Peoples (Pope Frances)
Christopher Columbus Award For Discovery

Research Interests
"I have lived my life in the service of words: finding where they hide in the convoluted recesses of the brain, studying their layers of meaning and form, and teaching their secrets to the young." So began my book, Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain. My research and teaching continue these three essential, life-spanning directions--- the science of the reading brain; the development of language and reading; and multiple applications of this knowledge base for children, particularly those who have reading challenges. My research group and I use the convergent tools of cognitive neurosciences, child language, and child development to understand the unique, less studied strengths and more documented weaknesses in children with dyslexia, using tools as varied as brain-imaging to genetic studies. Simultaneously, we investigate the particular challenges in reading acquisition for individuals who are bilingual, bi-dialectal (particularly children who speak African-American English), and/or living in impoverished environments. To release the potential of all these children is our life's work.

In our applications of this three-pronged knowledge base, we have created interventions (RAVE-O) that simulate the young reading brain, and we have investigated their efficacy through more than a decade of NICHD-supported randomized treatment-control studies. We are in the beginning of understanding the promising application of this work for children who are bilingual and bi-dialectal. In the process of this work, we are studying the fascinating connections between music and written language and whether music can become incorporated in early intervention. We have created and tested diagnostic materials for rapid word-retrieval processes, or naming speed, (RAN/RAS) that predict reading performance in children with reading challenges around the world.

Currently and perhaps counter-intuitively, I am immersed in questions about both the advantages and the threats to the present expert reading brain, as our society moves from a literacy-based culture to a digital one. Most recently, my group and I are working on a global literacy project (globallit.com) in which we are creating an open source platform for helping children learn to read who live in remote regions of the world with no access to school or teacher. Our current deployments are in Ethiopia, Uganda, South Africa, India, Bangladesh, and rural United States. In bringing literacy to non-literate populations our goals are to help to reduce poverty, increase health, economic development, and gender equality by creating tools to advance the potential of children around the world and in our own backyards.

Wolf, M., Interview by Here & Now. WBUR. Is Online Skimming hurting Reading Comprehension?

Wolf, M., Interview by The Real Story: The Da Vinci Code. Smithsonian Channel.

Wolf, M., Interview by Children of the Code.

Selected Publications
(See Curriculum Vitae)


Wolf, M. (To appear, 2017). Letters to the Good Reader: The Contemplative Dimension in the Future Reading Brain. New York: Harper Collins.

Wolf, M. & Gottwald, S. (2016) Tales of Literacy in the 21st Century. Oxford University Press. In Literary Agenda Series, Editor: Phillip Davis.

Wolf, M. (To appear 2016) Letters to the Good Reader. New York: Harper Collins.

Wolf, M. & Gottwald, S. (In preparation) What It Means to be Literate. Oxford University Press. For Series on Oral and Written Language, Editor: Phillip Davis.

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

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. York Press: Timonium, MD.

Selected Articles

Wolf, M., Gottwald, S., Breazeal, C., Galyean T., Morris, R. (in press). "I Hold Your Foot": Working to Transform Children’s Lives through a Global, Digitally-Based, Literacy Initiative. Chapter in A. Battro (Eds.). Children and sustainable development: Ecological education in a globalized world. Springer Verlag.

Ozernov-Palchik, O., Norton, E. S., Sideridis, G., Beach, S. D., Wolf, M., Gabrieli, J. D., Gaab, N. (in press). Longitudinal stability of pre-reading skill profiles of kindergarten children: Implications for early screening and theories of reading. Developmental Science.

N. Gaab, B. Miller, F. Ramus, R.H. Fitch, P. J. Gerber, J. R. Gruen, N. Kraus, J.J. LoTurco, H. Lyytinen, C.A. McBride-Chang, G. Reid, G.D. Rosen, J. Stein, M. Wolf, and A.M. Galaburda (in press). Developmental Dyslexia.
Nature Reviews. Special Issue on Dyslexia.

Ozernov-Palchik, O & Wolf, M (in press). RAN: What lies beneath. In G. Eden (Ed.), The Handbook on the Cognitivie Neuroscience of Dyslexia. West Sussex: Wiley.

Wolf, M. (2016). Global literacy initative: An update. Chapter in A. Battro, K. Fisher and M. L. Majadalani (Eds.). Mind, Brain and Education at ERICE: Ten Years.213-218.

Jacobson, L.A, Taylor, K., Lipkin, P., Boada, R., Frijter, J., Lovett, M., Hill, D., Willcutt, E., Gottwald, S., Wolf, M., Bosson-Heenan, J., Gruen, J., Mahone, E.M. (2016) Executive functions contribute uniquely to reading competence in minority youth. Journal of Learning Disabilities. 1-12. DOI:10.1177/002219415618501

Breazeal, C., Morris, R., Gottwald, S., Galyean, T. & Wolf, M. (2016). "Mobile devices for early literacy intervention and research with global reach." Conference paper to be published in Proceedings of the Third ACM Conference on Learning at Scale, Edinburgh, Scotland.

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. Journal of Medical Genetics.

Wolf, M., Gottwald,S., Galyean, T., & Morris, R. (2015). 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. Rome: Vatican Academy of Social Sciences.

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 for the Bread and Brain meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Rome: Vatican Academy of Sciences.

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 psy120710-100431.

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.

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.

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

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

Misra, M., Katzir, T., Wolf, M. & Poldrack, P. (2004). Neural systems underlying Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) in skilled readers: An fMRI investigation.

Wolf, M. & Katzir-Cohen, T. (2001). Reading fluency and its intervention. Scientific Studies of Reading. (Special Issue : E. Kameenui & D. Simmons).

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