Functional disruption of the brain mechanism for reading: Effects of comorbidity and task difficulty among children with developmental learning problems.
Objective: The study investigated the relative degree and timing of cortical activation associated with phonological decoding in poor readers. Method: Regional brain activity was assessed during performance of a pseudoword reading task and a less demanding, letter-sound naming task by three groups of students: children who experienced reading difficulties without attention problems (N = 50, RD) and nonreading impaired (NI) readers either with (N = 20) or without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; N = 50). Recordings were obtained with a whole-head neuromagnetometer, and activation profiles were computed through a minimum norm algorithm. Results: Children with RD showed decreased amplitude of neurophysiological activity in the superior temporal gyrus, bilaterally, and in the left supramarginal and angular gyri during late stages of decoding, compared to typical readers. These effects were restricted to the more demanding pseudoword reading task. No differences were found in degree of activity between NI and ADHD students. Regression analyses provided further support for the crucial role of left hemisphere temporoparietal cortices and the fusiform gyrus for basic reading skills. Conclusions: Results were in agreement with fMRI findings and replicate previous MEG findings with a larger sample, a higher density neuromagnetometer, an overt pseudoword reading task, and a distributed current source-modeling method. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)