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Brain Lang. 2014 Jul;134:44-67. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2014.04.001. Epub 2014 May 9.

The anatomical foundations of acquired reading disorders: a neuropsychological verification of the dual-route model of reading.

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Department of Economics, Management and Statistics, Statistical Section, University of Milan-Bicocca, Milano, Italy. Electronic address:
Villa Beretta Rehabilitation Unit, Valduce Hospital, Costamasnaga, LC, Italy.
Montescano Rehabilitation Unit, IRCCS Fondazione S. Maugeri, Montescano, PV, Italy.
Azienda Ospedaliera G. Salvini, Passirana, MI, Italy.
Department of Psychology, University of Milan-Bicocca, Milano, Italy.


In this study we investigated the neural correlates of acquired reading disorders through an anatomo-correlative procedure of the lesions of 59 focal brain damaged patients suffering from acquired surface, phonological, deep, undifferentiated dyslexia and pure alexia. Two reading tasks, one of words and nonwords and one of words with unpredictable stress position, were used for this study. We found that surface dyslexia was predominantly associated with left temporal lesions, while in phonological dyslexia the lesions overlapped in the left insula and the left inferior frontal gyrus (pars opercularis) and that pure alexia was associated with lesions in the left fusiform gyrus. A number of areas and white matter tracts, which seemed to involve processing along both the lexical and the sublexical routes, were identified for undifferentiated dyslexia. Two cases of deep dyslexia with relatively dissimilar anatomical correlates were studied, one compatible with Coltheart's right-hemisphere hypothesis (1980) whereas the other could be interpreted in the context of Morton and Patterson's (1980), multiply-damaged left-hemisphere hypothesis. In brief, the results of this study are only partially consistent with the current state of the art, and propose new and stimulating challenges; indeed, based on these results we suggest that different types of acquired dyslexia may ensue after different cortical damage, but white matter disconnection may play a crucial role in some cases.


Acquired reading disorders; Lesion-symptom mapping

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