Sequential then Interactive Processing of Letters and Words in the Left Fusiform Gyrus
McDonald, Carrie R.
Halgren, EricNote: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.
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CitationThesen, T., C. R. McDonald, C. Carlson, W. Doyle, S. Cash, J. Sherfey, O. Felsovalyi, et al. 2013. “Sequential then Interactive Processing of Letters and Words in the Left Fusiform Gyrus.” Nature communications 3 (1): 1284. doi:10.1038/ncomms2220. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms2220.
AbstractDespite decades of cognitive, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging studies, it is unclear if letters are identified prior to word-form encoding during reading, or if letters and their combinations are encoded simultaneously and interactively. Here, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we show that a ‘letter-form’ area (responding more to consonant strings than false fonts) can be distinguished from an immediately anterior ‘visual word-form area’ in ventral occipitotemporal cortex (responding more to words than consonant strings). Letter-selective magnetoencephalographic responses begin in the letter-form area ~60ms earlier than word-selective responses in the word-form area. Local field potentials confirm the latency and location of letter-selective responses. This area shows increased high gamma power for ~400ms, and strong phase-locking with more anterior areas supporting lexico-semantic processing. These findings suggest that during reading, visual stimuli are first encoded as letters before their combinations are encoded as words. Activity then rapidly spreads anteriorly, and the entire network is engaged in sustained integrative processing.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:15034985
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