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Nature. 1996 Jul 4;382(6586):66-9.

Abnormal processing of visual motion in dyslexia revealed by functional brain imaging.

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Section on Functional Brain Imaging NIMH, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


It is widely accepted that dyslexics have deficits in reading and phonological awareness, but there is increasing evidence that they also exhibit visual processing abnormalities that may be confined to particular portions of the visual system. In primate visual pathways, inputs from parvocellular or magnocellular layers of the lateral geniculate nucleus remain partly segregated in projections to extrastriate cortical areas specialized for processing colour and form versus motion. In studies of dyslexia, psychophysical and anatomical evidence indicate an anomaly in the magnocellular visual subsystem. To investigate the pathophysiology of dyslexia, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study visual motion processing in normal and dyslexic men. In all dyslexics, presentation of moving stimuli failed to produce the same task-related functional activation in area V5/MT (part of the magnocellular visual subsystem) observed in controls. In contrast, presentation of stationary patterns resulted in equivalent activations in V1/V2 and extrastriate cortex in both groups. Although previous studies have emphasized language deficits, our data reveal differences in the regional functional organization of the cortical visual system in dyslexia.

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