How interindividual differences in brain anatomy shape reading accuracy
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The capacity to read develops throughout intensive academic learning and training. Several studies have investigated the impact of reading on the brain, and particularly how the anatomy of the brain changes with reading acquisition. In the present study, we investigated the converse issue, namely whether and how reading acquisition is constrained by the anatomy of the brain. Using multimodal MRI, we found that (a) the pattern (continuous or interrupted sulcus) of the posterior part of the left lateral occipito-temporal sulcus (OTS) hosting the visual word form area (VWFA) predicts reading skills in adults; that (b) this effect is modulated by the age of reading acquisition; and that (c) the length of the OTS sulcal interruption is associated with reading skills. Because the sulcal pattern is determined in utero, our findings suggest that individual difference in reading skills can be traced back to early stages of brain development in addition to the well-established socioeconomic and educational factors.
KeywordsReading VWFA MRI Neurodevelopment SES
We thank S. F. Pegado, P. Ventura, G. Nunes Filho, G. Dehaene-Lambertz, R. Kolinsky, J. Morais, and L. Cohen for participant recruitment.
AC, GB, SD, and OH designed the study. AJ, LB, and SD provided MRI and cognitive data. MR, AC, GB, AJ, J-FM, and ZYS analyzed the data. AC, GB, SD, OH, J-FM, and MR interpreted the results and wrote the manuscript.
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