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Dev Neuropsychol. 2006;30(1):613-32.

The role of functional magnetic resonance imaging in understanding reading and dyslexia.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510-8064, USA. bennett.haywitz@yale.edu

Abstract

Converging evidence from a number of lines of investigation indicates that dyslexia represents a disorder within the language system and more specifically within a particular subcomponent of that system, phonological processing. Recent advances in imaging technology, particularly the development of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), provide evidence of a neurobiological signature for dyslexia, specifically a disruption of 2 left hemisphere posterior brain systems, 1 parietal-temporal, the other occipital-temporal, with compensatory engagement of anterior systems around the inferior frontal gyrus and a posterior (right occipital-temporal) system. Furthermore, good evidence indicates a computational role for the left occipital-temporal system: the development of fluent (automatic) reading. In addition, fMRI studies of young adults with reading difficulties followed prospectively and longitudinally from age 5 through their mid 20s suggests that there may be 2 types of reading difficulties, 1 primarily reflecting a genetic basis, the other, and far more common, reflecting environmental influences. The brain systems for reading are malleable and their disruption in children with dyslexia may be remediated by provision of an evidence-based, effective reading intervention. These studies offer the promise for more precise identification and effective management of dyslexia in children, adolescents, and adults.

PMID:
16925477
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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