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Here we describe the open access dataset entitled "Longitudinal Brain Correlates of Multisensory Lexical Processing in Children" hosted on OpenNeuro.org. This dataset examines reading development through a longitudinal multimodal neuroimaging and behavioral approach, including diffusion-weighted and T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), task based functional MRI, and a battery of psycho-educational assessments and parental questionnaires. Neuroimaging, psycho-educational testing, and functional task behavioral data were collected from 188 typically developing children when they were approximately 10.5 years old (session T1). Seventy children returned approximately 2.5 years later (session T2), of which all completed longitudinal follow-ups of psycho-educational testing, and 49 completed neuroimaging and functional tasks. At session T1 participants completed auditory, visual, and audio-visual word and pseudo-word rhyming judgment tasks in the scanner. At session T2 participants completed visual word and pseudo-word rhyming judgement tasks in the scanner.
The objective of this study was to investigate whether phonological processes measured through brain activation are crucial for the development of reading skill (i.e. scaffolding hypothesis) and/or whether learning to read words fine-tunes phonology in the brain (i.e. refinement hypothesis). We specifically looked at how different grain sizes in two brain regions implicated in phonological processing played a role in this bidirectional relation. According to the dual-stream model of speech processing and previous empirical studies, the posterior superior temporal gyrus (STG) appears to be a perceptual region associated with phonological representations, whereas the dorsal inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) appears to be an articulatory region that accesses phonological representations in STG during more difficult tasks. 36 children completed a reading test outside the scanner and an auditory phonological task which included both small (i.e. onset) and large (i.e. rhyme) grain size conditions inside the scanner when they were 5.5-6.5 years old (Time 1) and once again approximately 1.5 years later (Time 2). To study the scaffolding hypothesis, a regression analysis was carried out by entering brain activation in either STG or IFG for either small (onset > perceptual) or large (rhyme > perceptual) grain size phonological processing at T1 as the predictors and reading skill at T2 as the dependent measure, with several covariates of no interest included. To study the refinement hypothesis, the regression analysis included reading skill at T1 as the predictor and brain activation in either STG or IFG for either small or large grain size phonological processing at T2 as the dependent measures, with several covariates of no interest included. We found that only posterior STG, regardless of grain size, was predictive of reading gains. Parallel models with only behavioral accuracy were not significant. Taken together, our results suggest that the representational quality of phonology in temporal cortex is crucial for reading development. Moreover, our study provides neural evidence supporting the scaffolding hypothesis, suggesting that brain measures of phonology could be helpful in early identification of reading difficulties.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The left ventral occipitotemporal cortex (vOT) is a critical region in reading. According to the interactive account of reading, the vOT is an interface between the lower-level visual regions and higher-level language areas. One prediction of the interactive account is that orthographic activation in vOT should be automatically influenced by semantics and phonology. In the current study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a masked priming paradigm with a relatively short duration (150 ms) to examine whether language information automatically influences vOT during Chinese reading. Participants were asked to perform a lexical decision task on target characters. We separately tested the phonological and semantic influence on orthographic processing in vOT. Brain activation analyses showed that the activation of vOT was modulated by semantic information. In addition, a functional connectivity analysis showed stronger connectivity between vOT and the left ventral inferior frontal gyrus was modulated by semantic information. These findings provided converging evidence for the existence of an automatic semantic influence on vOT during reading, supporting the interactive account. Our study did not show a phonological effect either in the activation of or connectivity with vOT. Taken together, these results reflect the unique processes of Chinese reading, which relies more on the mapping between orthography and semantics, as compared to the orthographic to phonology mapping.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Phonological encoding depends on left-lateralized regions in the supramarginal gyrus and the ventral precentral gyrus. Localization of these phonological regions in individual participants-including individuals with language impairments-is important in several research and clinical contexts. To localize these regions, we developed two paradigms that load on phonological encoding: a rhyme judgment task and a syllable counting task. Both paradigms relied on an adaptive staircase design to ensure that each individual performed each task at a similarly challenging level. The goal of this study was to assess the validity and reliability of the two paradigms, in terms of their ability to consistently produce left-lateralized activations of the supramarginal gyrus and ventral precentral gyrus in neurologically normal individuals with presumptively normal language localization. Sixteen participants were scanned with fMRI as they performed the rhyme judgment paradigm, the syllable counting paradigm, and an adaptive semantic paradigm that we have described previously. We found that the rhyme and syllable paradigms both yielded left-lateralized supramarginal and ventral precentral activations in the majority of participants. The rhyme paradigm produced more lateralized and more reliable activations, and so should be favored in future applications. In contrast, the semantic paradigm did not reveal supramarginal or precentral activations in most participants, suggesting that the recruitment of these regions is indeed driven by phonological encoding, not language processing in general. In sum, the adaptive rhyme judgment paradigm was effective in localizing left-lateralized phonological encoding regions in individual participants, and, in conjunction with the adaptive semantic paradigm, can be used to map individual language networks.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A primary challenge facing the development of interventions for dyslexia is identifying effective predictors of intervention response. While behavioral literature has identified core cognitive characteristics of response, the distinction of reading versus executive cognitive contributions to response profiles remains unclear, due in part to the difficulty of segregating these constructs using behavioral outputs. In the current study we used functional neuroimaging to piece apart the mechanisms of how/whether executive and reading network relationships are predictive of intervention response. We found that readers who are responsive to intervention have more typical pre-intervention functional interactions between executive and reading systems compared to nonresponsive readers. These findings suggest that intervention response in dyslexia is influenced not only by domain-specific reading regions, but also by contributions from intervening domain-general networks. Our results make a significant gain in identifying predictive bio-markers of outcomes in dyslexia, and have important implications for the development of personalized clinical interventions.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Spoken and written language processing streams converge in the superior temporal sulcus (STS), but the functional and anatomical nature of this convergence is not clear. We used functional MRI to quantify neural responses to spoken and written language, along with unintelligible stimuli in each modality, and employed several strategies to segregate activations on the dorsal and ventral banks of the STS. We found that intelligible and unintelligible inputs in both modalities activated the dorsal bank of the STS. The posterior dorsal bank was able to discriminate between modalities based on distributed patterns of activity, pointing to a role in encoding of phonological and orthographic word forms. The anterior dorsal bank was agnostic to input modality, suggesting that this region represents abstract lexical nodes. In the ventral bank of the STS, responses to unintelligible inputs in both modalities were attenuated, while intelligible inputs continued to drive activation, indicative of higher level semantic and syntactic processing. Our results suggest that the processing of spoken and written language converges on the posterior dorsal bank of the STS, which is the first of a heterogeneous set of language regions within the STS, with distinct functions spanning a broad range of linguistic processes.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This commentary presents highlights from the seven articles in this volume, along with a synthesis of take-home points that can be used to inform policy and practice. Across each article there is a story of both successes and the challenges of ongoing work that seeks to enhance children's development in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. Although the topics covered in this volume range from development of early self-regulation and executive function to the use of technology to aid literacy acquisition in remote areas, each points to the need for systems-level coordination and sustained commitment to reach children at risk.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Specific reading comprehension deficit (SRCD) affects up to 10 % of all children. SRCD is distinct from dyslexia (DYS) in that individuals with SRCD show poor comprehension despite adequate decoding skills. Despite its prevalence and considerable behavioral research, there is not yet a unified cognitive profile of SRCD. While its neuroanatomical basis is unknown, SRCD could be anomalous in regions subserving their commonly reported cognitive weaknesses in semantic processing or executive function. Here we investigated, for the first time, patterns of gray matter volume difference in SRCD as compared to DYS and typical developing (TD) adolescent readers (N = 41). A linear support vector machine algorithm was applied to whole brain gray matter volumes generated through voxel-based morphometry. As expected, DYS differed significantly from TD in a pattern that included features from left fusiform and supramarginal gyri (DYS vs. TD: 80.0 %, p < 0.01). SRCD was well differentiated not only from TD (92.5 %, p < 0.001) but also from DYS (88.0 %, p < 0.001). Of particular interest were findings of reduced gray matter volume in right frontal areas that were also supported by univariate analysis. These areas are thought to subserve executive processes relevant for reading, such as monitoring and manipulating mental representations. Thus, preliminary analyses suggest that SRCD readers possess a distinct neural profile compared to both TD and DYS readers and that these differences might be linked to domain-general abilities. This work provides a foundation for further investigation into variants of reading disability beyond DYS.
Skilled reading depends on recognizing words efficiently in isolation (word-level processing; WL) and extracting meaning from text (discourse-level processing; DL); deficiencies in either result in poor reading. FMRI has revealed consistent overlapping networks in word and passage reading, as well as unique regions for DL processing; however, less is known about how WL and DL processes interact. Here we examined functional connectivity from seed regions derived from where BOLD signal overlapped during word and passage reading in 38 adolescents ranging in reading ability, hypothesizing that even though certain regions support word- and higher-level language, connectivity patterns from overlapping regions would be task modulated. Results indeed revealed that the left-lateralized semantic and working memory (WM) seed regions showed task-dependent functional connectivity patterns: during DL processes, semantic and WM nodes all correlated with the left angular gyrus, a region implicated in semantic memory/coherence building. In contrast, during WL, these nodes coordinated with a traditional WL area (left occipitotemporal region). In addition, these WL and DL findings were modulated by decoding and comprehension abilities, respectively, with poorer abilities correlating with decreased connectivity. Findings indicate that key regions may uniquely contribute to multiple levels of reading; we speculate that these connectivity patterns may be especially salient for reading outcomes and intervention response.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.