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Neural Mechanisms Underlying Learning Following Semantic Mediation Treatment in a Case of Phonologic Alexia

Authors
  • Kurland, Jacquie1, 2
  • Cortes, Carlos R.1, 3
  • Wilke, Marko4
  • Sperling, Anne J.1
  • Lott, Susan N.1
  • Tagamets, Malle A.1, 3
  • VanMeter, John1
  • Friedman, Rhonda B.1
  • 1 Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC), Department of Neurology, Washington, DC, USA , Washington (United States)
  • 2 University of Massachusetts, Department of Communication Disorders, Amherst, USA , Amherst (United States)
  • 3 University of Maryland School of Medicine, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Baltimore, MD, USA , Baltimore (United States)
  • 4 University Children’s Hospital, Department of Pediatric Neurology, Tubingen, Germany , Tubingen (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Brain Imaging and Behavior
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Jul 29, 2008
Volume
2
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11682-008-9027-2
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

Patients with phonologic alexia can be trained to read semantically impoverished words (e.g., functors) by pairing them with phonologically-related semantically rich words (e.g, nouns). What mechanisms underlie success in this cognitive re-training approach? Does the mechanism change if the skill is “overlearned”, i.e., practiced beyond criterion? We utilized fMRI pre- and post-treatment, and after overlearning, to assess treatment-related functional reorganization in a patient with phonologic alexia, 2 years post left temporoparietal stroke. Pre-treatment, there were no statistically significant differences in activation profiles across the sets of words. Post-treatment, accuracy on the two trained sets improved. Compared with untrained words, reading trained words recruited larger and more significant clusters of activation in the right hemisphere, including right inferior frontal and inferior parietal cortex. Post-overlearning, with near normal performance on overlearned words, predominant activation shifted to left hemisphere regions, including perilesional activation in superior parietal lobe, when reading overlearned vs. untrained words.

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