It is unknown whether the abnormalities in brain structure and function observed in dyslexic readers are congenital or arise later in development. Analyzing the 2 components of gray matter volume separately may help in differentiating these possibilities. Gray matter volume is the product of cortical surface area, determined during prenatal brain development, and cortical thickness, determined during postnatal development. For this study, 16 adults with a history of phonological dyslexia and 16 age- and gender-matched controls underwent magnetic resonance imaging and an extensive battery of tests of reading-related skills. Cortical surface area and gray matter volume measures of the whole brain, the inferior frontal gyrus, and the fusiform gyrus were similarly related to phonological skills and a history of dyslexia. There was no relationship between cortical thickness and phonological skills or history of dyslexia. Because cortical surface area reflects cortical folding patterns determined prenatally, this suggests that brain differences in dyslexia are rooted in early cortical development and are not due to compensatory changes that occur during postnatal development and would be expected to influence cortical thickness. This study demonstrates the importance of examining the separate components of gray matter volume when studying developmental abnormalities.