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Functional disruption in the organization of the brain for reading in dyslexia.

Authors
  • Shaywitz, S E1
  • Shaywitz, B A
  • Pugh, K R
  • Fulbright, R K
  • Constable, R T
  • Mencl, W E
  • Shankweiler, D P
  • Liberman, A M
  • Skudlarski, P
  • Fletcher, J M
  • Katz, L
  • Marchione, K E
  • Lacadie, C
  • Gatenby, C
  • Gore, J C
  • 1 Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publication Date
Mar 03, 1998
Volume
95
Issue
5
Pages
2636–2641
Identifiers
PMID: 9482939
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Learning to read requires an awareness that spoken words can be decomposed into the phonologic constituents that the alphabetic characters represent. Such phonologic awareness is characteristically lacking in dyslexic readers who, therefore, have difficulty mapping the alphabetic characters onto the spoken word. To find the location and extent of the functional disruption in neural systems that underlies this impairment, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to compare brain activation patterns in dyslexic and nonimpaired subjects as they performed tasks that made progressively greater demands on phonologic analysis. Brain activation patterns differed significantly between the groups with dyslexic readers showing relative underactivation in posterior regions (Wernicke's area, the angular gyrus, and striate cortex) and relative overactivation in an anterior region (inferior frontal gyrus). These results support a conclusion that the impairment in dyslexia is phonologic in nature and that these brain activation patterns may provide a neural signature for this impairment.

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