Disrupted Subcortical-Cortical Connections in a Phonological but Not Semantic Task in Chinese Children With Dyslexia

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 14 (2021)
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Abstract

Reading disability has been considered as a disconnection syndrome. Recently, an increasing number of studies have emphasized the role of subcortical regions in reading. However, the majority of research on reading disability has focused on the connections amongst brain regions within the classic cortical reading network. Here, we used graph theoretical analysis to investigate whether subcortical regions serve as hubs during reading both in Chinese children with reading disability and in age-matched typically developing children using a visual rhyming judgment task and a visual meaning judgment task. We found that the bilateral thalami were the unique hubs for typically developing children across both tasks. Additionally, subcortical regions were also unique hubs for typically developing children but only in the rhyming task. Among these subcortical hub regions, the left pallidum showed reduced connectivity with inferior frontal regions in the rhyming judgment but not semantic task in reading disabled compared with typically developing children. These results suggest that subcortical-cortical disconnection, which may be particularly relevant to the phonological and phonology-related learning process, may be associated with Chinese reading disability.

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Xin Liu
Dalian University of Technology

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