Greater functional connectivity between reading and error-detection regions following training with the reading acceleration program in children with reading difficulties
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The Reading Acceleration Program is a computerized program that improves reading and the activation of the error-detection mechanism in individuals with reading difficulty (RD) and typical readers (TRs). The current study aims to find the neural correlates for this effect in English-speaking 8–12-year-old children with RD and TRs using a functional connectivity analysis. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected during a lexical decision task before and after 4 weeks of training with the program, together with reading and executive functions measures. Results indicated improvement in reading, visual attention, and speed of processing in children with RD. Following training, greater functional connectivity was observed between the left fusiform gyrus and the right anterior cingulate cortex in children with RD and between the left fusiform gyrus and the left anterior cingulate cortex in TRs. The change in functional connectivity after training was correlated with increased behavioral scores for word reading and visual attention in both groups. The results support previous findings of improved monitoring and mental lexicon after training with the Reading Acceleration Program in children with RD and TRs. The differences in laterality of the anterior cingulate cortex in children with RD and the presumable role of the cingulo-opercular control network in language processing are discussed.
KeywordsAnterior cingulate cortex Cingulo-opercular network Connectivity Dyslexia Fluency Functional MRI Reading Acceleration Program Reading
The study was supported by the University of Cincinnati Grant and the Fulbright Foundation. The Reading Acceleration Program was developed by Prof. Zvia Breznitz and was provided by the Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center for the Study of Learning Disabilities, University of Haifa, Israel. The authors thank J. Denise Wetzel, CCHMC Medical Writer, for editing the manuscript.
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