Reading is an essential skill, necessary not only for success in school, but for maintaining a high quality of life in increasingly literate societies. Changes in technology have altered reading formats and increased the range and complexity of literacy contexts, thus placing even more pressure on foundational reading skills. The development of these skills occurs with corresponding neural development associated with learning the forms and functions of written language and their relation to spoken language. Difficulties in learning to read are associated with neural patterns that differ from those of successful learning. Thus, studies of the neural bases of reading inform the development of literacy and reading disability.