Word and non-word reading: What role for the Visual Word Form Area?

M. Vigneau, G. Jobard, B. Mazoyer, N. Tzourio-Mazoyer
NeuroImage. 2005-09-01; 27(3): 694-705
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2005.04.038

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1. Neuroimage. 2005 Sep;27(3):694-705.

Word and non-word reading: what role for the Visual Word Form Area?

Vigneau M(1), Jobard G, Mazoyer B, Tzourio-Mazoyer N.

Author information:
(1)Groupe d’Imagerie Neurofonctionnelle, UMR 6194, CNRS CEA, Universities of Caen
and Paris 5, GIP Cyceron, BP 5229, 14074 Caen Cedex, France.

The putative role of the so-called Visual Word Form Area (VWFA) during reading
remains under debate. For some authors, this region is specifically involved in a
pre-lexical processing of words and pseudowords, whereas such specificity is
challenged by others given the VWFA involvement during both non-word reading and
word listening. Here, we further investigated this issue, measuring BOLD
variations and their lateralization with fMRI during word and non-word reading,
in order to evaluate the lexicality effect, and during reading and listening of
words, in order to evaluate the impact of stimulus delivery modality on word
processing networks. Region of interest (ROI) analysis was first performed in
three target areas: 1-VWFA as defined by a meta-analysis of the word reading
literature, 2-a middle temporal area (T2) found co-activated by both word reading
and listening, 3-an inferior occipital area (OI) belonging to the unimodal visual
cortex of the inferior occipital gyrus. VWFA activity was found not different
between word and non-word reading but was more leftward lateralized during word
reading due to a reduction of activity in the VWFA right counterpart. A similar
larger leftward lateralization during word reading was also uncovered in the T2
ROI but was related to a larger left side activity. Such a lexicality effect was
not observed in the OI ROI. By contrast, BOLD increases during listening were
restricted to the left VWFA and T2 ROIs. Voxel-based analysis (SPM99) showed that
semantic areas were more active during word than non-word reading and
co-activated by both reading and listening, exhibiting a left lateralized
activity in all tasks. These results indicate that the left VWFA would be the
place where visual and verbal representations bind under the control of left
semantic areas.

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2005.04.038
PMID: 15961322 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus