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Language differences in the brain network for reading in naturalistic story reading and lexical decision.

Wang X, Yang J, Yang J, Mencl WE, Shu H, Zevin JD - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Prior work comparing these two writing systems has overwhelmingly used meta-linguistic tasks, generally supporting the conclusion that the reading system is organized differently for skilled readers of Chinese and English.We found a very different pattern of language effects in a naturalistic reading paradigm, during which significant differences were only observed in visual regions not typically considered specific to the reading network, and the middle temporal gyrus, which is thought to be important for direct mapping of orthography to semantics.Specifically, language differences were most pronounced in MFG and rFFG during the lexical decision task, whereas no language differences were observed in these areas during silent reading of text for comprehension.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Key Lab for Behavior & Cognitive Neuroscience of Shaanxi Province, School of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an, China.

ABSTRACT
Differences in how writing systems represent language raise important questions about whether there could be a universal functional architecture for reading across languages. In order to study potential language differences in the neural networks that support reading skill, we collected fMRI data from readers of alphabetic (English) and morpho-syllabic (Chinese) writing systems during two reading tasks. In one, participants read short stories under conditions that approximate natural reading, and in the other, participants decided whether individual stimuli were real words or not. Prior work comparing these two writing systems has overwhelmingly used meta-linguistic tasks, generally supporting the conclusion that the reading system is organized differently for skilled readers of Chinese and English. We observed that language differences in the reading network were greatly dependent on task. In lexical decision, a pattern consistent with prior research was observed in which the Middle Frontal Gyrus (MFG) and right Fusiform Gyrus (rFFG) were more active for Chinese than for English, whereas the posterior temporal sulcus was more active for English than for Chinese. We found a very different pattern of language effects in a naturalistic reading paradigm, during which significant differences were only observed in visual regions not typically considered specific to the reading network, and the middle temporal gyrus, which is thought to be important for direct mapping of orthography to semantics. Indeed, in areas that are often discussed as supporting distinct cognitive or linguistic functions between the two languages, we observed interaction. Specifically, language differences were most pronounced in MFG and rFFG during the lexical decision task, whereas no language differences were observed in these areas during silent reading of text for comprehension.

No MeSH data available.


Brain regions identified as interaction of Task by Language.The black outlier indicates anatomical mask of bilateral fusiform gyrus. The bar graphes plot each ROI’s activity pattern.
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pone.0124388.g003: Brain regions identified as interaction of Task by Language.The black outlier indicates anatomical mask of bilateral fusiform gyrus. The bar graphes plot each ROI’s activity pattern.

Mentions: We conducted a whole brain ANOVA to test for Language x Task interactions (Table 6, Fig 3). Significant interactions were observed in a large cluster of bilateral regions including visual cortex, precuneus, superior parietal lobule, angular gyrus and fusiform gyrus, as well as a number of regions at superior pre-/post-central gyrus, supramarginal gyrus, anterior and middle temporal gyrus, middle frontal gyrus and insula.


Language differences in the brain network for reading in naturalistic story reading and lexical decision.

Wang X, Yang J, Yang J, Mencl WE, Shu H, Zevin JD - PLoS ONE (2015)

Brain regions identified as interaction of Task by Language.The black outlier indicates anatomical mask of bilateral fusiform gyrus. The bar graphes plot each ROI’s activity pattern.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4446262&req=5

pone.0124388.g003: Brain regions identified as interaction of Task by Language.The black outlier indicates anatomical mask of bilateral fusiform gyrus. The bar graphes plot each ROI’s activity pattern.
Mentions: We conducted a whole brain ANOVA to test for Language x Task interactions (Table 6, Fig 3). Significant interactions were observed in a large cluster of bilateral regions including visual cortex, precuneus, superior parietal lobule, angular gyrus and fusiform gyrus, as well as a number of regions at superior pre-/post-central gyrus, supramarginal gyrus, anterior and middle temporal gyrus, middle frontal gyrus and insula.

Bottom Line: Prior work comparing these two writing systems has overwhelmingly used meta-linguistic tasks, generally supporting the conclusion that the reading system is organized differently for skilled readers of Chinese and English.We found a very different pattern of language effects in a naturalistic reading paradigm, during which significant differences were only observed in visual regions not typically considered specific to the reading network, and the middle temporal gyrus, which is thought to be important for direct mapping of orthography to semantics.Specifically, language differences were most pronounced in MFG and rFFG during the lexical decision task, whereas no language differences were observed in these areas during silent reading of text for comprehension.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Key Lab for Behavior & Cognitive Neuroscience of Shaanxi Province, School of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an, China.

ABSTRACT
Differences in how writing systems represent language raise important questions about whether there could be a universal functional architecture for reading across languages. In order to study potential language differences in the neural networks that support reading skill, we collected fMRI data from readers of alphabetic (English) and morpho-syllabic (Chinese) writing systems during two reading tasks. In one, participants read short stories under conditions that approximate natural reading, and in the other, participants decided whether individual stimuli were real words or not. Prior work comparing these two writing systems has overwhelmingly used meta-linguistic tasks, generally supporting the conclusion that the reading system is organized differently for skilled readers of Chinese and English. We observed that language differences in the reading network were greatly dependent on task. In lexical decision, a pattern consistent with prior research was observed in which the Middle Frontal Gyrus (MFG) and right Fusiform Gyrus (rFFG) were more active for Chinese than for English, whereas the posterior temporal sulcus was more active for English than for Chinese. We found a very different pattern of language effects in a naturalistic reading paradigm, during which significant differences were only observed in visual regions not typically considered specific to the reading network, and the middle temporal gyrus, which is thought to be important for direct mapping of orthography to semantics. Indeed, in areas that are often discussed as supporting distinct cognitive or linguistic functions between the two languages, we observed interaction. Specifically, language differences were most pronounced in MFG and rFFG during the lexical decision task, whereas no language differences were observed in these areas during silent reading of text for comprehension.

No MeSH data available.