Functional neuroimaging studies of reading and reading disability (developmental dyslexia)

Kenneth R. Pugh*, W. Einar Mencl, Annette R. Jenner, Leonard Katz, Stephen J. Frost, Jun Lee Ren, Sally E. Shaywitz, Haskins Laboratories

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

478 Citations (Scopus)


Converging evidence from a number of neuroimaging studies, including our own, suggest that fluent word identification in reading is related to the functional integrity of two consolidated left hemisphere (LH) posterior systems: A dorsal (temporo-parietal) circuit and a ventral (occipitotemporal) circuit. This posterior system is function ally disrupted in developmental dyslexia. Reading disabled readers, relative to nonimpaired readers, demonstrate heightened reliance on both inferior frontal and right hemisphere posterior regions, presumably in compensation for the LH posterior difficulties. We propose a neurobiological account suggesting that for normally developing readers the dorsal circuit predominates at first, and is associated with analytic processing necessary for learning to integrate orthographic features with phonological and lexical-semantic features of printed words. The ventral circuit constitutes a fast, late-developing, word identification system which underlies fluent word recognition in skilled readers. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-213
Number of pages7
JournalMental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Dyslexia
  • Lexical processing
  • Neuroimaging
  • Phonology
  • Reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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