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Cereb Cortex. 2010 Nov;20(11):2549-59. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhq005. Epub 2010 Feb 5.

Reading networks at rest.

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  • 1Phyllis Green and Randolph Cōwen Institute for Pediatric Neuroscience, New York University Child Study Center, New York, NY 10016, USA.


Resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) approaches offer a novel tool to delineate distinct functional networks in the brain. In the present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we elucidated patterns of RSFC associated with 6 regions of interest selected primarily from a meta-analysis on word reading (Bolger DJ, Perfetti CA, Schneider W. 2005. Cross-cultural effect on the brain revisited: universal structures plus writing system variation. Hum Brain Mapp. 25: 92-104). In 25 native adult readers of English, patterns of positive RSFC were consistent with patterns of task-based activity and functional connectivity associated with word reading. Moreover, conjunction analyses highlighted the posterior left inferior frontal gyrus and the posterior left middle temporal gyrus (post-LMTG) as potentially important loci of functional interaction among 5 of the 6 reading networks. The significance of the post-LMTG has typically been unappreciated in task-based studies on unimpaired readers but is frequently reported to be a locus of hypoactivity in dyslexic readers and exhibits intervention-induced changes of activity in dyslexic children. Finally, patterns of negative RSFC included not only regions of the so-called default mode network but also regions involved in effortful controlled processes, which may not be required once reading becomes automatized. In conclusion, the current study supports the utility of resting-state fMRI for investigating reading networks and has direct relevance for the understanding of reading disorders such as dyslexia.

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