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Dr. Shelley Shaul

Dr. Shelley Shaul
972-4-8249006, Fax: 972-4-8288435


Position
Researcher, Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center for the Study of Learning Disabilities Head, Early Childhood Laboratory

Current Status
Lecturer, Department of Learning Disabilities

Research Interests
My current research, as well as long-term objectives, aims to focus on the investigation of the underlying causes of various sub-types of learning disabilities by using behavioral and innovated brain research methods. Understanding the basic cognitive skills such as perception, attention, speed of processing and working memory skills, will help to find the underlying deficits among the learning disabled. In addition I have started a project in early childhood in order to find the contribution of different cognitive skills to early literacy and early numerical skills. 
The aim of my research is to develop early identification tests for at risk children and behavioral and brain-based interventions for at-risk groups. Identification of at risk children and intervention programs before entering the formal schooling will help reduce the amount of learning disabilities and their severity later at school.

Current Projects
Early literacy and early mathematical skills in kindergarten children and their connection to basic cognitive skills
Visual perception and visual span among kindergarten children - an eye moment study together with Prof. Adriana Bus and Dr. Maria De Jong from Leiden university (The Netherlands)
Executive functions and their connection to early literacy, reading and reading comprehension among children.
Multidimensional Investigation of mathematical genius as compared to mathematically gifted and non gifted children. Together with Prof. Roza Leikin and Prof. Mark Leikin
Dr. Shelley Shaul of the Neurocognitive Laboratory for Early Childhood, together with Prof. Tami Katzir, and Dr. Orly Lipka started to pilot an intervention program, "OR." The "Or" program is designated to promote foundational literacy, cognition and emotion skills to first grade children. This study is funded by the KIPP School and the University of Haifa.
Dr. Shelley Shaul and Prof. Michal Shany are conducting a large project in the Neurocognitive Laboratory for Early Childhood: Prevention and Intervention of Learning Disabilities, examining the contribution of executive functions to early literacy skills as well as studying Executive Function as a predictor of early reading, writing and mathematical abilities. Data is currently being analyzed.
Also in the Neurocognitive Laboratory for Early Childhood, Dr. Shaul and Prof. Shany are planning a large scale early literacy study which will follow children from kindergarten to Grade 2 and willbe looking at the different types of learning disabilities, as well as examining early literacy skills among Arabic speaking kindergarten children.

Education
Year Degree and Name of the Institution
1996-1998 University of Haifa, B.A. in Psychology and Multidisciplinary Studies.
1999-2001 University of Haifa, M.A. in Education (Reading Focus), Dean’s List.
2002-2006 University of Haifa, Ph.D. in the Division of Learning Disabilities, Faculty of Education. Neurocognitive Lab – Brain and Behavior Center.
2007-2008 Bar Ilan University, Gonda Brain Research Center – Post Doctoral Fellowship.

Publications