The unique role of the visual word form area in reading

Reading systematically activates the left lateral occipitotemporal sulcus, at a site known as the visual word form area (VWFA). This site is reproducible across individuals/scripts, attuned to reading-specific processes, and partially selective for written strings relative to other categories such as line drawings. Lesions affecting the VWFA cause pure alexia, a selective deficit in word recognition. These findings must be reconciled with the fact that human genome evolution cannot have been influenced by such a recent and culturally variable activity as reading. Capitalizing on recent functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments, we provide strong corroborating evidence for the hypothesis that reading acquisition partially recycles a cortical territory evolved for object and face recognition, the prior properties of which influenced the form of writing systems.

from Trends in Cognitive Sciences

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About Callier Library

Housed at the internationally renowned Callier Center for Communication Disorders, Callier Library a branch facility of the McDermott Library at The University of Texas at Dallas.

Posted on May 17, 2011, in Research. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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