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Qi Wang, Peipei Fei, Hongbo Gu, Yanmei Zhang, Xiaomei Ke, Yuhe Liu
OBJECTIVES: By analyzing the different phenotypes of two Chinese DFNA9 families with the same mutation located in the intervening region between the LCCL and vWFA domains of cochlin and testing the functional changes in the mutant cochlin, we investigated the different pathogeneses for mutations in LCCL and vWFA domains. METHODS: Targeted next-generation sequencing for deafness-related genes was used to identify the mutation in the proband in family #208. The probands of family #208 and family #32 with the same p...
2017: PloS One
Jeremy J Purcell, Xiong Jiang, Guinevere F Eden
A central question in the study of the neural basis of written language is whether reading and spelling utilize shared orthographic representations. While recent studies employing fMRI to test this question report that the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and ventral occipitotemporal cortex (vOTC) are active during both spelling and reading in the same subjects (Purcell et al., 2011a; Rapp and Lipka, 2011), the spatial resolution of fMRI limits the interpretation of these findings. Specifically, it is unknown if the neurons which encode orthography for reading are also involved in spelling of the same words...
February 15, 2017: NeuroImage
Wei Zhou, Xiaojuan Wang, Zhichao Xia, Yanchao Bi, Ping Li, Hua Shu
When reading a narrative text, both the dorsal and ventral visual systems are activated. To illustrate the patterns of interactions between the dorsal and ventral visual systems in text reading, we conducted analyses of functional connectivity (FC) and effective connectivity (EC) in a left-hemispheric network for reading-driven functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) data. In reading-driven fMRI (Experiment 1), we found significant FCs among the left middle frontal gyrus (MFG), the left intraparietal sulcus (IPS), and the visual word form area (VWFA), and there were top-down effects from the left MFG to the left IPS, from the left MFG to the VWFA, and from the left IPS to the VWFA...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Zeynep M Saygin, David E Osher, Elizabeth S Norton, Deanna A Youssoufian, Sara D Beach, Jenelle Feather, Nadine Gaab, John D E Gabrieli, Nancy Kanwisher
What determines the cortical location at which a given functionally specific region will arise in development? We tested the hypothesis that functionally specific regions develop in their characteristic locations because of pre-existing differences in the extrinsic connectivity of that region to the rest of the brain. We exploited the visual word form area (VWFA) as a test case, scanning children with diffusion and functional imaging at age 5, before they learned to read, and at age 8, after they learned to read...
September 2016: Nature Neuroscience
Heinz Wimmer, Philipp Ludersdorfer, Fabio Richlan, Martin Kronbichler
Current neurocognitive research suggests that the efficiency of visual word recognition rests on abstract memory representations of written letters and words stored in the visual word form area (VWFA) in the left ventral occipitotemporal cortex. These representations are assumed to be invariant to visual characteristics such as font and case. In the present functional MRI study, we tested this assumption by presenting written words and varying the case format of the initial letter of German nouns (which are always capitalized) as well as German adjectives and adverbs (both usually in lowercase)...
September 2016: Psychological Science
Laurent Cohen, Stanislas Dehaene, Samantha McCormick, Szonya Durant, Johannes M Zanker
Pure alexia is an acquired reading disorder, typically due to a left occipito-temporal lesion affecting the Visual Word Form Area (VWFA). It is unclear whether the VWFA acts as a unique bottleneck for reading, or whether alternative routes are available for recovery. Here, we address this issue through the single-case longitudinal study of a neuroscientist who experienced pure alexia and participated in 17 behavioral, 9 anatomical, and 9 fMRI assessment sessions over a period of two years. The origin of the impairment was assigned to a small left fusiform lesion, accompanied by a loss of VWFA responsivity and by the degeneracy of the associated white matter pathways...
October 2016: Neuropsychologia
Laurie S Glezer, Guinevere Eden, Xiong Jiang, Megan Luetje, Eileen Napoliello, Judy Kim, Maximilian Riesenhuber
Reading has been shown to rely on a dorsal brain circuit involving the temporoparietal cortex (TPC) for grapheme-to-phoneme conversion of novel words (Pugh et al., 2001), and a ventral stream involving left occipitotemporal cortex (OTC) (in particular in the so-called "visual word form area", VWFA) for visual identification of familiar words. In addition, portions of the inferior frontal cortex (IFC) have been posited to be an output of the dorsal reading pathway involved in phonology. While this dorsal versus ventral dichotomy for phonological and orthographic processing of words is widely accepted, it is not known if these brain areas are actually strictly sensitive to orthographic or phonological information...
September 2016: NeuroImage
Nádia Canário, Lília Jorge, M F Loureiro Silva, Mário Alberto Soares, Miguel Castelo-Branco
The ventral visual pathway receives both inputs from parvocellular and magnocellular pathways, and combines information from distinct high and low spatial frequency channels (HSF and LSF). Using a random effects region of interest general linear model approach (n=21), we aimed to compare the selectivity to different spatial frequency channels in eight key areas involved in visual object recognition: FFA, OFA, and STS, for face processing; FBA, and EBA as body selective regions; (dorsal and ventral) LOC for object perception; PPA for processing information of places and VWFA as a region which responds to written verbal material...
July 1, 2016: Neuropsychologia
Anna Martin, Martin Kronbichler, Fabio Richlan
We used coordinate-based meta-analysis to objectively quantify commonalities and differences of dyslexic functional brain abnormalities between alphabetic languages differing in orthographic depth. Specifically, we compared foci of under- and overactivation in dyslexic readers relative to nonimpaired readers reported in 14 studies in deep orthographies (DO: English) and in 14 studies in shallow orthographies (SO: Dutch, German, Italian, Swedish). The separate meta-analyses of the two sets of studies showed universal reading-related dyslexic underactivation in the left occipitotemporal cortex (including the visual word form area (VWFA))...
July 2016: Human Brain Mapping
Anthony J Krafnick, Li-Hai Tan, D Lynn Flowers, Megan M Luetje, Eileen M Napoliello, Wai-Ting Siok, Charles Perfetti, Guinevere F Eden
Learning to read is thought to involve the recruitment of left hemisphere ventral occipitotemporal cortex (OTC) by a process of "neuronal recycling", whereby object processing mechanisms are co-opted for reading. Under the same theoretical framework, it has been proposed that the visual word form area (VWFA) within OTC processes orthographic stimuli independent of culture and writing systems, suggesting that it is universally involved in written language. However, this "script invariance" has yet to be demonstrated in monolingual readers of two different writing systems studied under the same experimental conditions...
June 2016: NeuroImage
Katarzyna Siuda-Krzywicka, Łukasz Bola, Małgorzata Paplińska, Ewa Sumera, Katarzyna Jednoróg, Artur Marchewka, Magdalena W Śliwińska, Amir Amedi, Marcin Szwed
The brain is capable of large-scale reorganization in blindness or after massive injury. Such reorganization crosses the division into separate sensory cortices (visual, somatosensory...). As its result, the visual cortex of the blind becomes active during tactile Braille reading. Although the possibility of such reorganization in the normal, adult brain has been raised, definitive evidence has been lacking. Here, we demonstrate such extensive reorganization in normal, sighted adults who learned Braille while their brain activity was investigated with fMRI and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)...
March 15, 2016: ELife
Xiaoqian J Chai, Jonathan A Berken, Elise B Barbeau, Jennika Soles, Megan Callahan, Jen-Kai Chen, Denise Klein
There is considerable variability in an individual's ability to acquire a second language (L2) during adulthood. Using resting-state fMRI data acquired before training in English speakers who underwent a 12 week intensive French immersion training course, we investigated whether individual differences in intrinsic resting-state functional connectivity relate to a person's ability to acquire an L2. We focused on two key aspects of language processing--lexical retrieval in spontaneous speech and reading speed--and computed whole-brain functional connectivity from two regions of interest in the language network, namely the left anterior insula/frontal operculum (AI/FO) and the visual word form area (VWFA)...
January 20, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Marianna Boros, Jean-Luc Anton, Catherine Pech-Georgel, Jonathan Grainger, Marcin Szwed, Johannes C Ziegler
Fast effortless reading has been associated with the Visual Word Form Area (VWFA), a region in the ventral visual stream that specializes in the recognition of letter strings. Several neuroimaging studies of dyslexia revealed an underactivation of this region. However, most of these studies used reading tasks and/or were carried out on adults. Given that fluent reading is severely impaired in dyslexics, any underactivation might simply reflect a well-established reading deficit in impaired readers and could be the consequence rather than the cause of dyslexia...
March 2016: NeuroImage
Nadine Sigalov, Shachar Maidenbaum, Amir Amedi
Cognitive neuroscience has long attempted to determine the ways in which cortical selectivity develops, and the impact of nature vs. nurture on it. Congenital blindness (CB) offers a unique opportunity to test this question as the brains of blind individuals develop without visual experience. Here we approach this question through the reading network. Several areas in the visual cortex have been implicated as part of the reading network, and one of the main ones among them is the VWFA, which is selective to the form of letters and words...
March 2016: Neuropsychologia
Lars Strother, Alexandra M Coros, Tutis Vilis
Reading requires the neural integration of visual word form information that is split between our retinal hemifields. We examined multiple visual cortical areas involved in this process by measuring fMRI responses while observers viewed words that changed or repeated in one or both hemifields. We were specifically interested in identifying brain areas that exhibit decreased fMRI responses as a result of repeated versus changing visual word form information in each visual hemifield. Our method yielded highly significant effects of word repetition in a previously reported visual word form area (VWFA) in occipitotemporal cortex, which represents hemifield-split words as whole units...
February 2016: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Mikkel Wallentin, Claus Højbjerg Gravholt, Anne Skakkebæk
Competing theories attempt to explain the function of Broca's area in single word processing. Studies have found the region to be more active during processing of pseudo words than real words and during infrequent words relative to frequent words and during Stroop (incongruent) color words compared to Non-Stroop (congruent) words. Two related theories explain these findings as reflecting either "cognitive control" processing in the face of conflicting input or a linguistic prediction error signal, based on a predictive coding approach...
December 2015: Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior
Cristiana Cavina-Pratesi, Mary-Ellen Large, A David Milner
Patient D.F. has a profound and enduring visual form agnosia due to a carbon monoxide poisoning episode suffered in 1988. Her inability to distinguish simple geometric shapes or single alphanumeric characters can be attributed to a bilateral loss of cortical area LO, a loss that has been well established through structural and functional fMRI. Yet despite this severe perceptual deficit, D.F. is able to "guess" remarkably well the identity of whole words. This paradoxical finding, which we were able to replicate more than 20 years following her initial testing, raises the question as to whether D...
November 2015: Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior
Wei Zhou, Zhichao Xia, Yanchao Bi, Hua Shu
While there is emerging evidence from behavioral studies that visual attention skills are impaired in dyslexia, the corresponding neural mechanism (i.e., deficits in the dorsal visual region) needs further investigation. We used resting-state fMRI to explore the functional connectivity (FC) patterns of the left intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and the visual word form area (VWFA) in dyslexic children (N = 21, age mean = 12) and age-matched controls (N = 26, age mean = 12). The results showed that the left IPS and the VWFA were functionally connected to each other in both groups and that both were functionally connected to left middle frontal gyrus (MFG)...
2015: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Qian Xuli, Cao Xin
The COCH (Coagulation factor C homology) gene, located in human chromosome 14q12-q13, is the first gene identified to cause vestibular dysfunction. COCH encodes cochlin, which contains an N-terminal LCCL (Limulus factor C, cochlin, and late gestation lung protein Lgl1) domain and a C-temimal vWFA (Von Willebrand factor type A) domain. Recently, functional research of COCH mutations and cochlin have come under the spotlight in the field of hereditary deafness. Approximately 16 mutations in COCH have been confirmed to date, among which 13 non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) are the most common form of genetic variations...
July 2015: Yi Chuan, Hereditas
Zeynep Saygin, Terri Scott, Jenelle Feather, Deanna Youssoufian, Evelina Fedorenko, Nancy Kanwisher
The visual word form area (VWFA), a small region on the lateral side of the left fusiform gyrus, responds at least twice as strongly to visually presented words and letter strings as it does to other visually similar stimuli, including words in an unfamiliar orthography (e.g. Chinese or Hebrew for English speakers), digit strings, and line drawings of objects (Baker et al., 2007). The VWFA is of particular interest in efforts to understand the functional organization of the ventral visual pathway, and its developmental origins, because reading is a recent cultural invention (on the scale of human evolution) so it is unlikely that specialization for reading could have arisen through natural selection...
2015: Journal of Vision
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