Lecture / Reading

Predominance of lateral over vertical mirror errors in reading: A case for neuronal recycling and inhibition

Prédominance d'erreurs de lecture des lettres miroirs latérales plutôt que verticales: un cas pour le recyclage neuronal et l'inhibition

SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE / ARTICLE SCIENTIFIQUE

Ahr, E., Houdé, O., & Borst, G. (2017). Predominance of lateral over vertical mirror errors in reading: A case for neuronal recycling and inhibition. Brain and Cognition116, 1-8.

DOI: 10.1016/j.bandc.2017.03.005

Abstract

We investigated whether lateral mirror errors could be more prevalent than vertical mirror errors (e.g., p/q vs. p/b confusions) because mirror generalization is harder to inhibit for the discrimination of a reversible letter and its lateral than its vertical mirror-image counterpart. Expert adult readers performed a negative priming task in which they determined on the prime whether two letters and on the probe whether two objects facing opposite directions were identical. We found in both experiments longer response times for objects facing opposite lateral orientations preceded by a reversible letter and its lateral mirror-image counterpart (e.g., p/q) than preceded by perceptually matched non-reversible letters (e.g., g/j). No negative priming effect was observed when objects that were vertical (Experiment 1 & 2) or lateral (Experiment 2) mirror images of each other were preceded by a letter and its vertical mirror-image counterpart (e.g. p/b). Finally, we observed longer response times for objects that were lateral mirror images of each other after lateral than after vertical reversible letters. These results suggest that lateral mirror errors are more prevalent than vertical ones because mirror generalization might be stronger and thus more difficult to inhibit in the context of the former than the latter.

Keywords
Mirror errors; Inhibition; Neuronal recycling; Mirror generalization; Reading

 

Socioeconomic background linked to reading improvement / Le milieu socioéconomique de l'enfant lié à sa progression en lecture

OUTREACH ARTICLE / ARTICLE DE VULGARISATION
(see related scientific article below / voir l'article scientifique correspondant plus bas)

Science Daily
Click here to access outreach article / Cliquer ici pour accéder à cet article de vulgarisation

Socioeconomic background linked to reading improvement

Dyslexic children from lower-income families benefit more from summer reading intervention

Summary
Neuroscientists have found that dyslexic children from lower income families responded much better to a summer reading program than children from a higher socioeconomic background. Using MRI data, the team also found anatomical changes in the brains of children whose reading abilities improved -- in particular, a thickening of the cortex in parts of the brain known to be involved in reading.

Résumé
Des neuroscientifiques ont trouvé que des enfants dyslexiques issus de milieux socioéconomiques désavantagés amélioraient davantage leurs compétences en lecture lors de programmes d'été que leurs pairs issus de milieux avantagés. À l'aide de l'IRM, cette équipe de chercheurs a également trouvé des changements anatomiques dans le cerveau des enfants dont les compétences en lecture s'étaient améliorées - en particulier, un épaississement du cortex dans les régions cérébrales reconnues pour être impliquées lors de la lecture.


SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE / ARTICLE SCIENTIFIQUE

Socioeconomic status and reading disability: Neuroanatomy and plasticity in response to intervention

Romeo, R. R., Christodoulou, J. A., Halverson, K. K., Murtagh, J., Cyr, A. B., Schimmel, C., ... & Gabrieli, J. D. (2017). Socioeconomic Status and Reading Disability: Neuroanatomy and Plasticity in Response to Intervention. Cerebral Cortex, 1-16. (Advanced Online Publication)

DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhx131

Abstract

Although reading disability (RD) and socioeconomic status (SES) are independently associated with variation in reading ability and brain structure/function, the joint influence of SES and RD on neuroanatomy and/or response to intervention is unknown. In total, 65 children with RD (ages 6–9) with diverse SES were assigned to an intensive, 6-week summer reading intervention (n = 40) or to a waiting-list control group (n = 25). Before and after, all children completed standardized reading assessments and magnetic resonance imaging to measure cortical thickness. At baseline, higher SES correlated with greater vocabulary and greater cortical thickness in bilateral perisylvian and supramarginal regions—especially in left pars opercularis. Within the intervention group, lower SES was associated with both greater reading improvement and greater cortical thickening across broad, bilateral occipitotemporal and temporoparietal regions following the intervention. Additionally, treatment responders (n = 20), compared with treatment nonresponders (n = 19), exhibited significantly greater cortical thickening within similar regions. The waiting control and nonresponder groups exhibited developmentally typical, nonsignificant cortical thinning during this time period. These findings indicate that effective summer reading intervention is coupled with cortical growth, and is especially beneficial for children with RD who come from lower-SES home environments.

Word and object recognition during reading acquisition: MEG evidence / Reconnaissance des mots et des objets pendant l'apprentissage de la lecture: une étude par MEG

SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE / ARTICLE SCIENTIFIQUE

Caffarra, S., Martin, C. D., Lizarazu, M., Lallier, M., Zarraga, A., Molinaro, N., & Carreiras, M. (2017). Word and object recognition during reading acquisition: MEG evidence. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 24, 21-32.

DOI: 10.1016/j.dcn.2017.01.002

Highlights

  • This MEG study investigates the effect of reading acquisition on children’s brain. / 
    Cette étude par MEG s'intéresse à l'effet de l'apprentissage de la lecture sur le cerveau des enfants.
     
  • Children’s left language network is activated by written words as reading improves. /
    Le réseau du langage des enfants de l'hémisphère gauche est activé par les mots écrits à mesure que l'habileté en lecture se développe.
     
  • Reading expertise does not have a strong impact on children’s spoken words analysis. /
    L'expertise en lecture n'a pas un impact important sur l'analyse par les enfants des mots parlés.
     
  • In object recognition the left hemisphere involvement increases as reading improves. /
    L'implication de l'hémisphère gauche dans la reconnaissance des objets augmente à mesure que l'habileté en lecture se développe.

Abstract

Studies on adults suggest that reading-induced brain changes might not be limited to linguistic processes. It is still unclear whether these results can be generalized to reading development. The present study shows to which extent neural responses to verbal and nonverbal stimuli are reorganized while children learn to read. MEG data of thirty Basque children (4–8y) were collected while they were presented with written words, spoken words and visual objects. The evoked fields elicited by the experimental stimuli were compared to their scrambled counterparts. Visual words elicited left posterior (200–300 ms) and temporal activations (400–800 ms). The size of these effects increased as reading performance improved, suggesting a reorganization of children’s visual word responses. Spoken words elicited greater left temporal responses relative to scrambles (300–700 ms). No evidence for the influence of reading expertise was observed. Brain responses to objects were greater than to scrambles in bilateral posterior regions (200–500 ms). There was a greater left hemisphere involvement as reading errors decreased, suggesting a strengthened verbal decoding of visual configurations with reading acquisition. The present results reveal that learning to read not only influences written word processing, but also affects visual object recognition, suggesting a non-language specific impact of reading on children’s neural mechanisms.

 

KeywordsMEG; Reading acquisition; Visual word recognition; Speech processing; Object recognition

 

Apprentissages scolaires difficiles, recyclage neuronal et pratiques d’enseignement : le cas de l’identification des mots écrits

Brault Foisy, L.-M., Myre-Bisaillon, J., Riopel, M. et Masson, S. (2015). Apprentissages scolaires difficiles, recyclage neuronal et pratiques d’enseignement : le cas de l’identification des mots écrits. Approche neuropsychologique des apprentissages chez l'enfant134, 31-38.

RÉSUMÉ

Selon la théorie du recyclage neuronal, le développement de la capacité à lire nécessite que la fonction initiale d’une région précise du cerveau soit reconvertie afin qu’elle devienne capable d’identifier les mots écrits. À ce jour, peu de recherches ont analysé l’impact de l’enseignement sur le mécanisme de recyclage neuronal. Cet article propose d’examiner la littérature scientifique s’y rattachant et de discuter des retombées possibles des recherches existantes pour le domaine de l’éducation.
Mots clés : Neuroéducation – Recyclage neuronal – Identification des mots écrits – Pratiques
d’enseignement – Lecture

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Difficult academic learning, neuronal recycling and teaching practices: about identification of written words

ABSTRACT

According to the theory of neuronal recycling, learning to read requires the initial function of a specific brain region to be partially transformed, allowing it to identify written words. To date, little is still known about the impact of teaching on the neuronal recycling mechanism. This article proposes a review of the scientific literature on this subject and discusses the potential benefits of previous studies to the field of education.
Keywords: Neuroeducation – Neuronal recycling – Identification of written words – Educational interventions – Reading

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