Reading Without Speech Sounds: VWFA and its Connectivity in the Congenitally Deaf
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Peelen, Marius V.
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CitationWang, Xiaosha, Alfonso Caramazza, Marius V. Peelen, Zaizhu Han, and Yanchao Bi. 2014. “Reading Without Speech Sounds: VWFA and Its Connectivity in the Congenitally Deaf.” Cerebral Cortex 25 (9): 2416–26. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhu044.
AbstractThe placement and development of the visual word form area (VWFA) have commonly been assumed to depend, in part, on its connections with language regions. In this study, we specifically examined the effects of auditory speech experience deprivation in shaping the VWFA by investigating its location distribution, activation strength, and functional connectivity pattern in congenitally deaf participants. We found that the location and activation strength of the VWFA in congenitally deaf participants were highly comparable with those of hearing controls. Furthermore, while the congenitally deaf group showed reduced resting-state functional connectivity between the VWFA and the auditory speech area in the left anterior superior temporal gyrus, its intrinsic functional connectivity pattern between the VWFA and a fronto-parietal network was similar to that of hearing controls. Taken together, these results suggest that auditory speech experience has consequences for aspects of the word form-speech sound correspondence network, but that such experience does not significantly modulate the VWFA's placement or response strength. This is consistent with the view that the role of the VWFA might be to provide a representation that is suitable for mapping visual word forms onto language-specific gestures without the need to construct an aural representation.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41384859
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