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Multi- and unisensory decoding of words and nonwords result in differential brain responses in dyslexic and nondyslexic adults


Kast, M; Bezzola, L; Jäncke, Lutz; Meyer, Martin (2011). Multi- and unisensory decoding of words and nonwords result in differential brain responses in dyslexic and nondyslexic adults. Brain and Language, 119(3):136-48.

Abstract

The present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was designed, in order to investigate the neural substrates involved in the audiovisual processing of disyllabic German words and pseudowords. Twelve dyslexic and 13 nondyslexic adults performed a lexical decision task while stimuli were presented unimodally (either aurally or visually) or bimodally (audiovisually simultaneously). The behavioral data collected during the experiment evidenced more accurate processing for bimodally than for unimodally presented stimuli irrespective of group. Words were processed faster than pseudowords. Notably, no group differences have been found for either accuracy or for reaction times. With respect to brain responses, nondyslexic compared to dyslexic adults elicited stronger hemodynamic responses in the leftward supramarginal gyrus (SMG), as well as in the right hemispheric superior temporal sulcus (STS). Furthermore, dyslexic compared to nondyslexic adults showed reduced responses to only aurally presented signals and enhanced hemodynamic responses to audiovisual, as well as visual stimulation in the right anterior insula. Our behavioral results evidence that the two groups easily identified the two-syllabic proper nouns that we provided them with. Our fMRI results indicate that dyslexics show less neuronal involvement of heteromodal and extrasylvian regions, namely, the STS, SMG, and insula when decoding phonological information. We posit that dyslexic adults evidence deficient functioning of word processing, which could possibly be attributed to deficits in phoneme to grapheme mapping. This problem may be caused by impaired audiovisual processing in multimodal areas.

Abstract

The present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was designed, in order to investigate the neural substrates involved in the audiovisual processing of disyllabic German words and pseudowords. Twelve dyslexic and 13 nondyslexic adults performed a lexical decision task while stimuli were presented unimodally (either aurally or visually) or bimodally (audiovisually simultaneously). The behavioral data collected during the experiment evidenced more accurate processing for bimodally than for unimodally presented stimuli irrespective of group. Words were processed faster than pseudowords. Notably, no group differences have been found for either accuracy or for reaction times. With respect to brain responses, nondyslexic compared to dyslexic adults elicited stronger hemodynamic responses in the leftward supramarginal gyrus (SMG), as well as in the right hemispheric superior temporal sulcus (STS). Furthermore, dyslexic compared to nondyslexic adults showed reduced responses to only aurally presented signals and enhanced hemodynamic responses to audiovisual, as well as visual stimulation in the right anterior insula. Our behavioral results evidence that the two groups easily identified the two-syllabic proper nouns that we provided them with. Our fMRI results indicate that dyslexics show less neuronal involvement of heteromodal and extrasylvian regions, namely, the STS, SMG, and insula when decoding phonological information. We posit that dyslexic adults evidence deficient functioning of word processing, which could possibly be attributed to deficits in phoneme to grapheme mapping. This problem may be caused by impaired audiovisual processing in multimodal areas.

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16 citations in Web of Science®
16 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:08 Nov 2011 13:38
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:05
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0093-934X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2011.04.002
PubMed ID:21641022

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