The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie by William Joyce

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Book recommendation



Tittle: The Sandman: The story of Sanderson Mansnoozie      Author: William Joyce

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers   Year of publication: 2012.


 William Joyce is an american writter an illustrator. Is the author of several books for children, among those, The Guardians of the Childhood,  which inspired the film Rise of the Guardians (DreamWorks). He was also the author of  characters for animation films such as Toy Story and A Bug’s Life. In 2012 he won an Oscar (together with Brandon Olferburg) for the best  animation short film for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.  Do not hesitate to fly with Mr. Morris…


Sandman is the second picture book of a book series named The Guardians of ChildhoodThe Guardians of Childhood (The Man in the Moon, Nicholas St. North, Toothiana, Sandman and E. Aster bunnymund)  protect children from Shadow, the King  of Nightmares. The Man in the Moon needs to keep children safe at nights. He can do it alone, except when the moon is less than full and bright. For this purpose, will ask for the help of Sanderson Mansnoozie (Sandman), who flies with his shooting star making people’s dreams come true… With extraordinary illustrations, its reading teaches us that to dream and to face to our fears is the first step to overcome them.

Dr. Guilera – Dr.Bayarri

The Neuroscience of Freedom and Creativity: Our predictive brain

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Title: The Neuroscience of Freedom and Creativity: Our predictive brain.

Author: Joaquín M. Fuster

Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2013

Joaquin M. Fuster (born in Barcelona in 1930), is one of the most important neuroscientist. His research has focused in the the understanding of the neural structures underlying cognition and behavior, and is the author of several books and hundreds of papers.

Decide is a brain ability to choose between alternatives. For Fuster the hability to take decisions rely on the integrity of the cerebral cortex and the interaction with the environment. One of the main questions is how the brain produces the new from the old. How we can explain creativity. Is clear that the difference between humans and animals is on the prefrontal regions. Prefrontal regions are more than a single director of the orchestra: they play a central role in goal-directed actions and inhibitory control.

Another actor on this play is language and memory. Fuster was the first describing “memory cells” in the primate brain. Our capacity to predict the future rely on our capacity to put ideas on the correct order to create a logical history.

We think that this is a fascinating book you should read!!

“Professor Fuster’s insights regarding brain function are always priceless. Now, based on his unprecedent word on understanding the most complex portion of the brain -the frontal lobes-he has put forth a cogent view of the biological basis underlying the notion of “free will”. Like his other books, this one is a pleasure to read and will be throroughly enjoyed by anyone interested in the relationship between the brain and behavior” 

Mark D’Eposito, MD, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology, and Director of the Henry H. Wheeler, Jr. Brain Imaging Center. University of California, Berkeley.

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Specific Language Impairment (SLI) and Dyslexia

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Nowadays reading comprehension is the key to be successful in school. Children have difficulties in the early stages of learning to read and the main problem are the phonological skills. Interventions that target phonological skills need to be integrated with the teaching of reading (Hatcher, Hulme, & Ellis, 1994), and it is necessary to understand that a difference exist between dyslexia and maturational delay on reading comprehension. Some studies point out that in countries where children undergo the digital revolution, reading comprehension is worst than other countries. Preschoolers with specific language impairment (SLI) perform worst on tests of reading, spelling and reading comprehension (Snowling, Bishop, & Stothard, 2000), and children with IQ less than 100, have literacy outcomes particularly poor. We can conceptualize a subgroup in the SLI: children with specific SLI-Dyslexiareading impairment.This group shows a substantial drop in reading accuracy between the ages of 8 and 15 years. Another subgroup, over 35%, have reading skills normalized. In the opinion of Bishop, phonological difficulties place children under a literacy failure. Specific reading retardation may account for a poor vocabulary and difficulties in organizing words and syntactic difficulties. Children with problems in phonological route understand words by semantic process. They prefer to use the general meaning of the phrase to understand the word. Another problem that we find in many children with SLI are deficits in verbal working memory. A deficient working memory functioning may account for difficulties in lexical-morphological learning and sentence comprehension (Montgomery, 2003).

Children with dyslexia have a central problem in phonological loop: they have problems in the phonological representation of words and their decodification and also in cognitive processing speed. However, sometimes they have a normal reading comprehension such as dyslexics with high IQ. Dyslexics have difficulties reading pseudowords and this test is the standard for screening dyslexics.

Prevention is one of the keys to help children with SLI. A reading program with highly structured phonic component for 5 years old children is enough to master alphabetic principles and learning to read. In contrast, children at risk of reading delay need an additional training in phoneme awareness (Hatcher, Hulme, & Snowling, 2004).

In 2004 Bishop & Snowling wrote and article about differences between developmental dyslexia and specific language impairment. They explained that dyslexia was reconceptualized as a language disorder with a defficient phonological processing. The authors argued that we need to be aware of semantic and sintactic deficits in SLI. These deficits affect reading comprehension and fluency in adolescents (Bishop & Snowling, 2004).

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Bishop, D. V. M., & Snowling, M. J. (2004). Developmental dyslexia and specific language impairment: same or different? Psychological bulletin, 130(6), 858-886. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.130.6.858

Hatcher, P. J., Hulme, C., & Ellis, A. W. (1994). Ameliorating Early Reading Failure by Integrating the Teaching of Reading and Phonological Skills: The Phonological Linkage Hypothesis. Child Development, 65(1), 41–57. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.1994.tb00733.x

Hatcher, P. J., Hulme, C., & Snowling, M. J. (2004). Explicit phoneme training combined with phonic reading instruction helps young children at risk of reading failure. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45(2), 338–358. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00225.x

Montgomery, J. W. (2003). Working memory and comprehension in children with specific language impairment: what we know so far. Journal of Communication Disorders, 36(3), 221-231. doi:10.1016/S0021-9924(03)00021-2

Snowling, M., Bishop, D. V., & Stothard, S. E. (2000). Is preschool language impairment a risk factor for dyslexia in adolescence? Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines, 41(5), 587-600.