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Disentangling influences of dyslexia, development, and reading experience on effective brain connectivity in children


Di Pietro, Sarah V; Willinger, David; Frei, Nada; Lutz, Christina; Coraj, Seline; Schneider, Chiara; Stämpfli, Philipp; Brem, Silvia (2023). Disentangling influences of dyslexia, development, and reading experience on effective brain connectivity in children. NeuroImage, 268:119869.

Abstract

Altered brain connectivity between regions of the reading network has been associated with reading difficulties. However, it remains unclear whether connectivity differences between children with dyslexia (DYS) and those with typical reading skills (TR) are specific to reading impairments or to reading experience. In this functional MRI study, 132 children (M = 10.06 y, SD = 1.46) performed a phonological lexical decision task. We aimed to disentangle (1) disorder-specific from (2) experience-related differences in effective connectivity and to (3) characterize the development of DYS and TR. We applied dynamic causal modeling to age-matched (ndys = 25, nTR = 35) and reading-level-matched (ndys = 25, nTR = 22) groups. Developmental effects were assessed in beginning and advanced readers (TR: nbeg = 48, nadv = 35, DYS: nbeg = 24, nadv = 25). We show that altered feedback connectivity between the inferior parietal lobule and the visual word form area (VWFA) during print processing can be specifically attributed to reading impairments, because these alterations were found in DYS compared to both the age-matched and reading-level-matched TR. In contrast, feedforward connectivity from the VWFA to parietal and frontal regions characterized experience in TR and increased with age and reading skill. These directed connectivity findings pinpoint disorder-specific and experience-dependent alterations in the brain's reading network.

Keywords: Development; Developmental dyslexia; Dynamic causal modeling (DCM); Effective connectivity; Inferior parietal lobule; Reading network; Visual Word Forma Area (VWFA); fMRI.

Abstract

Altered brain connectivity between regions of the reading network has been associated with reading difficulties. However, it remains unclear whether connectivity differences between children with dyslexia (DYS) and those with typical reading skills (TR) are specific to reading impairments or to reading experience. In this functional MRI study, 132 children (M = 10.06 y, SD = 1.46) performed a phonological lexical decision task. We aimed to disentangle (1) disorder-specific from (2) experience-related differences in effective connectivity and to (3) characterize the development of DYS and TR. We applied dynamic causal modeling to age-matched (ndys = 25, nTR = 35) and reading-level-matched (ndys = 25, nTR = 22) groups. Developmental effects were assessed in beginning and advanced readers (TR: nbeg = 48, nadv = 35, DYS: nbeg = 24, nadv = 25). We show that altered feedback connectivity between the inferior parietal lobule and the visual word form area (VWFA) during print processing can be specifically attributed to reading impairments, because these alterations were found in DYS compared to both the age-matched and reading-level-matched TR. In contrast, feedforward connectivity from the VWFA to parietal and frontal regions characterized experience in TR and increased with age and reading skill. These directed connectivity findings pinpoint disorder-specific and experience-dependent alterations in the brain's reading network.

Keywords: Development; Developmental dyslexia; Dynamic causal modeling (DCM); Effective connectivity; Inferior parietal lobule; Reading network; Visual Word Forma Area (VWFA); fMRI.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
08 Research Priority Programs > Adaptive Brain Circuits in Development and Learning (AdaBD)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Neurology
Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Uncontrolled Keywords:Development; Developmental dyslexia; Dynamic causal modeling (DCM); Effective connectivity; Inferior parietal lobule; Reading network; Visual Word Forma Area (VWFA); fMRI.
Language:English
Date:1 March 2023
Deposited On:01 Feb 2023 08:31
Last Modified:28 Apr 2024 01:48
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1053-8119
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2023.119869
PubMed ID:36639004
Project Information:
  • : FunderUniversität Zürich
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderFP7
  • : Grant ID260661
  • : Project TitlePHOTOBIOFUEL - Direct photobiological conversion of solar energy to volatile transport fuels
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)