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Developmental dyslexia in Chinese and English populations: dissociating the effect of dyslexia from language differences

Hu, W; Lee, HL; Zhang, Q; Liu, T; Geng, LB; Seghier, ML; Shakeshaft, C; ... Price, CJ; + view all (2010) Developmental dyslexia in Chinese and English populations: dissociating the effect of dyslexia from language differences. Brain , 133 (6) 1694 -1706. 10.1093/brain/awq106. Green open access

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Abstract

Previous neuroimaging studies have suggested that developmental dyslexia has a different neural basis in Chinese and English populations because of known differences in the processing demands of the Chinese and English writing systems. Here, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we provide the first direct statistically based investigation into how the effect of dyslexia on brain activation is influenced by the Chinese and English writing systems. Brain activation for semantic decisions on written words was compared in English dyslexics, Chinese dyslexics, English normal readers and Chinese normal readers, while controlling for all other experimental parameters. By investigating the effects of dyslexia and language in one study, we show common activation in Chinese and English dyslexics despite different activation in Chinese versus English normal readers. The effect of dyslexia in both languages was observed as less than normal activation in the left angular gyrus and in left middle frontal, posterior temporal and occipitotemporal regions. Differences in Chinese and English normal reading were observed as increased activation for Chinese relative to English in the left inferior frontal sulcus; and increased activation for English relative to Chinese in the left posterior superior temporal sulcus. These cultural differences were not observed in dyslexics who activated both left inferior frontal sulcus and left posterior superior temporal sulcus, consistent with the use of culturally independent strategies when reading is less efficient. By dissociating the effect of dyslexia from differences in Chinese and English normal reading, our results reconcile brain activation results with a substantial body of behavioural studies showing commonalities in the cognitive manifestation of dyslexia in Chinese and English populations. They also demonstrate the influence of cognitive ability and learning environment on a common neural system for reading.

Type: Article
Title: Developmental dyslexia in Chinese and English populations: dissociating the effect of dyslexia from language differences
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/brain/awq106
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awq106
Language: English
Additional information: © The Authors 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Brain. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Dyslexia, FMRI, Language processing, Cognitive impairment, Developmental neuroimaging, Brain activation, Phonological awareness, Reading acquisition, Deficit hypothesis, Learning deficit, Neural systems, Children, Skills, Readers, Words
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1308610
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