Esmeralda V. Matute

Dr. Matute is a graduate of the Universidad de Las Américas in Mexico City, where she studied a B.A. in Special Education. Later, she continued her studies in Neuropsychology and Neurolinguistics under the direction of Professor Henry Hécaen at the École de Hautes Études for Social Sciences in Paris, France. There, she earned a Diploma in In-Depth Studies (DEA) and, later, her Doctorate in Neuropsychology and Neurolinguistics. While in France, she undertook research on infant aphasia and the effect of learning to read on functional cerebral organization.

Upon her return to Mexico, she worked for six years as the Director of the Special Education Program at the DIF (Dept. of Integral Family Development) in Jalisco, where she established a Center for Studies and Special Therapies. In 1989, she joined the staff of the University of Guadalajara as a Professor/Researcher in the Center for Research in Education. Then, in 1994, she participated in the creation of the Institute of Neurosciences where she is in charge of the Neuropsychology and Neurolinguistics Laboratory. She has been the Director of this Institute since 2003.

Dr. Matute’s principle research interests lie in three areas, the first of which concerns the study of oral and written language. Specifically, she has inquired into the effects of learning to read on cerebral organization and cognitive development, through research that has focused on illiterate subjects and Spanish-speaking children with difficulties related to learning the skills of reading and writing. Her second line of study focuses on the relation between certain characteristics of the Spanish language, learning to read, and manifestations of dyslexia. Her work in these two areas is considered pioneering. Another interest is Child Neuropsychology, specifically, the study of the effects of age on cerebral plasticity and the neuropsychological characterization of specific neurological syndromes. More recently, child neuropsychological evaluation has also come to occupy a central place in her research.

The results of Dr. Matute’s work have been presented in academic forums of recognized prestige, and have earned three international awards. Her publications circulate internationally and include articles in scientific journals, book chapters and books, both as editor and author. The impact of her scientific production can be appreciated in the frequency with which her work is cited by other researchers. Dr. Matute’s performance in research networks has allowed her to co-publish with authors in the United States, Colombia, Mexico and Canada.