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Dr. Haitham Taha

Dr. Haitham Taha


Position
Researcher

Research Interests
My field of interest in research is reading and spelling acquisition in Arabic among typical and disabled readers. I am also interested in investigating other cognitive and neurocognitive domains in different academic skills such as numerical processing and calculations.

Current Projects
One of my research studies deals with the impact of graphemic (letter) connectedness on the visual word recognition of normal and disabled readers. Part of this work is being undertaken by graduate students under my supervision, whereas in some of this research, I am using electrophysiological technology for investigating the brain activity associated with the cognitive process involved in the different conditions of visual word recognition. 
In other research project, I plan to investigate the brain activity related to the mental representation of the orthographic lexicon using the pseudo-homophone paradigm and the EEG technology in a lexical decision task. I am also a co-investigator in another study which aims to compare the brain activity during orthographic processing of native Arab readers versus native Hebrew readers and native Russian readers. 
Other domain of interest is the contribution of linguistic factors to reading and spelling development in Arabic, i.e. phonological and morphological parameters. This line of research into the psycholinguistic factors contributing to reading and spelling in Arabic represents a development of my PhD topic. 
In my previous work, I focused on the analysis of reading and spelling errors committed by normal and disabled native Arab readers. My goal was to learn about the correlations between reading and spelling abilities by investigating the types of errors found among the different type of readers. The analysis of the reading errors offers a window into the phenotype of the cognitive processes involved in reading and spelling words. 
Recently, I completed another study based on the error analysis paradigm and found that the severity of the reading disability can be expressed by a specific and predominant type of error which is associated with the degree of the phonological processing deficit. Also, I am working cooperatively with different researchers from the Safra Center in conducting different studies in the field of reading, literacy, numerical processing and intervention. 
My future research will continue focusing on the cognitive and the neuro-cognitive processes involved in the acquisition of academic skills among learners with normal learning abilities and with learning disabilities. 

Education
Degree and Name of the Institution
BA in Behavioral Sciences, Ben Gurion University.
MA in Learning Disabilities: Diagnosis and Intervention, University of Haifa.
PhD in Education (Dissertation: The Contribution of Phonological vs. Morphological Intervention to the Development of Reading and Spelling Skills among Normal and Dyslexic Native Arabic Readers), Bar Ilan University.
Post Doc in Neurocognitive research and reading in Arabic orthography. Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center for the Study of Learning Disabilities, University of Haifa.

Current Courses
  • Diagnosis of learning disabilities
  • Treatment and interventions on learning disabilities among native Arabic speakers

Awards
Year Award
2001 Dean's scholarship of the University of Haifa for Graduate Students, University of Haifa
2002 Dean's scholarship of the University of Haifa for Graduate Students, University of Haifa
2007 Research award for excellent research students, The Committee for scholarships and grants - Bar Ilan University
2007 Research award for outstanding research students, The Committee for scholarships and grants - Bar Ilan University
2008 Research award for outstanding research students in the Arab sector, The Ministry of Science - Israel
2010-2012 Post-doctoral scholarship, University of Haifa: Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center for the Study of Learning Disabilities

Publications