The putative visual word form area is functionally connected to the dorsal attention network

Vogel AC, Miezin FM, Petersen SE, Schlaggar BL (2011). Cereb Cortex, Epub ahead of print
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Abstract

The putative visual word form area (pVWFA) is the most consistently activated region in single word reading studies (i.e., Vigneau et al. 2006), yet its function remains a matter of debate. The pVWFA may be predominantly used in reading or it could be a more general visual processor used in reading but also in other visual tasks. Here, resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fcMRI) is used to characterize the functional relationships of the pVWFA to help adjudicate between these possibilities. rs-fcMRI defines relationships based on correlations in slow fluctuations of blood oxygen level-dependent activity occurring at rest. In this study, rs-fcMRI correlations show little relationship between the pVWFA and reading-related regions but a strong relationship between the pVWFA and dorsal attention regions thought to be related to spatial and feature attention. The rs-fcMRI correlations between the pVWFA and regions of the dorsal attention network increase with age and reading skill, while the correlations between the pVWFA and reading-related regions do not. These results argue the pVWFA is not used predominantly in reading but is a more general visual processor used in other visual tasks, as well as reading.

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Posted on October 13, 2011
Posted in: Neurogenetics, Publications, Therapeutics & Diagnostics Authors: