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Dev Neuropsychol. 2003;24(2-3):593-612.

Brain mechanisms for reading in children with and without dyslexia: a review of studies of normal development and plasticity.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Vivian L. Smith Center for Neurologic Research, University of Texas-Houston Medical School, 77030, USA.


In this article we review our experience with the application of magnetic source imaging (MSI), the newest of the functional imaging methods, to the study of brain mechanisms for reading among children who read normally and among those with dyslexia. After giving a general description of MSI, we present evidence for reliable and valid maps of the brain mechanism for aural language comprehension as well as for reading. Next, we present data from 39 normal readers, 40 children with dyslexia, and 30 younger children at risk for developing a reading disability. These data show different brain activation maps for individual children with dyslexia and children at risk for dyslexia than for those of normal readers. Such differences most likely reflect aberrant brain organization underlying phonological decoding, rather than variables such as degree of effort. Finally, we present preliminary data demonstrating that the aberrant activation profiles of children with dyslexia may return to normative patterns as a result of a successful reading intervention that enables children to improve phonological decoding skills.

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