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Functional neuroimaging studies of reading and reading disability (developmental dyslexia).

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Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.


Converging evidence from a number of neuroimaging studies, including our own, suggest that fluent word identification in reading is related to the functional integrity of two consolidated left hemisphere (LH) posterior systems: a dorsal (temporo-parietal) circuit and a ventral (occipito-temporal) circuit. This posterior system is functionally disrupted in developmental dyslexia. Reading disabled readers, relative to nonimpaired readers, demonstrate heightened reliance on both inferior frontal and right hemisphere posterior regions, presumably in compensation for the LH posterior difficulties. We propose a neurobiological account suggesting that for normally developing readers the dorsal circuit predominates at first, and is associated with analytic processing necessary for learning to integrate orthographic features with phonological and lexical-semantic features of printed words. The ventral circuit constitutes a fast, late-developing, word identification system which underlies fluent word recognition in skilled readers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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