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Neuroreport. 2005 Apr 25;16(6):621-4.

A functional magnetic resonance imaging study of the tradeoff between semantics and phonology in reading aloud.

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Haskins Laboratories, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.


Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we explored the role of semantics in mediating orthographic-to-phonological processing in reading aloud, focusing on the interaction of imageability with spelling-to-sound consistency for low-frequency words. Behaviorally, high-imageable words attenuate the standard latency and accuracy disadvantage for low-frequency inconsistent words relative to their consistent counterparts. Neurobiologically, high-imageable words reduced consistency-related activation in the inferior frontal gyrus but increased posterior activation in the angular and middle temporal gyri, representing a possible neural signature of the tradeoff between semantics and phonology in reading aloud. We discuss implications for neurobiological models of reading in terms of understanding the interplay among areas associated with component processes and suggest that the results constitute an important step toward integrating neurobiological and computational models of reading.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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