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What makes written words so special to the brain

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193790 Year: Pages: 267 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-379-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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Reading is an integral part of life in today's information-driven societies. Since the pioneering work of Dejerine on "word blindness" in brain-lesioned patients, the literature has increased exponentially, from neuropsychological case reports to mechanistic accounts of word processing at the behavioural, neurofunctional and computational levels, tapping into diverse aspects of visual word processing. These studies have revealed some exciting findings about visual word processing, including how the brain learns to read, how changes in literacy impact upon word processing strategies, and whether word processing mechanisms vary across different alphabetic, logographic or artificial writing systems. Other studies have attempted to characterise typical and atypical word processes in special populations in order to explain why dyslexic brains struggle with words, how multilingualism changes the way our brains see words, and what the exact developmental signatures are that would shape the acquisition of reading skills. Exciting new insights have also emerged from recent studies that have investigated word stimuli at the system/network level, by looking for instance, at how the reading system interacts with other cognitive systems in a context-dependent fashion, how visual language stimuli are integrated into the speech processing streams, how both left and right hemispheres cooperate and interact during word processing, and what the exact contributions of subcortical and cerebellar regions to reading are. The contributions to this Research Topic highlight the latest findings regarding the different issues mentioned above, particularly how these findings can explain or model the different processes, mechanisms, pathways or cognitive strategies by which the human brain sees words. The introductory editorial, summarising the contributions included here, highlights how varieties of behavioural tests and neuroimaging techniques can be used to investigate word processing mechanisms across different alphabetic and logographic writing systems.

Oscillatory "Temporal Sampling" and Developmental Dyslexia: Towards an Over-Arching Theoretical Framework

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194391 Year: Pages: 155 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-439-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Children with developmental dyslexia fail to acquire efficient reading and spelling skills despite adequate tuition and an absence of overt sensory and/ or neural deficits. Learning to read and spell requires linguistic skills, auditory skills and visual skills. Oscillatory 'temporal sampling' theory links the development of sensory and linguistic processes. The auditory system 'samples' acoustic information at different temporal rates, which for speech processing suggests that temporal information encoded by delta, theta and gamma oscillations is bound together in the final speech percept. Temporal sampling theory proposed a possible deficit in dyslexia in auditory sampling of the speech signal at syllable-relevant rates (< 10 Hz, delta and theta). This would hypothetically affect prosodic development prior to reading and syllable-based parsing, which would affect efficient linguistic skills and consequently reading development across languages. The visual system also samples information in the visuo-spatial field. In theory atypical visual oscillatory sampling could therefore be related to some of the visual features of developmental dyslexia. In this special issue, we bring together visual and auditory sensory processing studies around the general theme of oscillatory temporal sampling. Contributors were encouraged to discuss their findings within a temporal sampling perspective. The resulting studies cover a wide range of sensory processes, with findings both supporting and contradicting the theory. It is also important to note that studies covered a wide range of languages, and that the behavioural manifestations of a sampling impairment may differ both with language and over the course of development. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see such diverse findings considered within a single theoretical framework, even if at the same time, it is apparent that an over-arching theoretical framework encompassing both visual and auditory deficits in dyslexia is yet to be achieved.

Understanding Developmental Dyslexia: Linking Perceptual and Cognitive Deficits to Reading Processes

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198641 Year: Pages: 309 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-864-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Understanding the mechanisms responsible for developmental dyslexia (DD) is a key challenge for researchers. A large literature, mostly concerned with learning to read in opaque orthographies, emphasizes phono-logical interpretations of the disturbance. Other approaches focused on the visual-per-ceptual aspects of orthographic coding. Recently, this perspective was supported by imaging data showing that individuals with DD have hypo-activation in occipito-temporal areas (a finding common to both transpar-ent and opaque orthographies). Nevertheless, it is difficult to infer causal relationships from activation data. Accommodating these findings within the cognitive architecture of reading processes is still an open issue. This is a general problem, which is present in much of the literature. For example, several studies investigating the perceptual and cognitive abilities that distinguish groups of children with and without DD failed to provide explicit links with the reading process. Thus, several areas of investigation (e.g., acoustic deficits or magnocellular deficiencies) have been plagued by replication failures. Furthermore, much research has neglected the possible contribution of comorbid symptoms. By contrast, it is now well established that developmental disorders present a large spectrum of homotopic and heterotopic co-morbidities that make causal interpretations problematic. This has led to the idea that the etiology of learning difficulties is multifactorial, thus challenging the traditional models of DD. Recent genetic studies provide information on the multiple risk factors that contribute to the genesis of the disturbance. Another critical issue in DD is that much of the research has been conducted in English-speaking individuals. However, English is a highly irregular orthography and doubts have been raised on the appropriateness of automatically extending interpretations based on English to other more regular orthographies. By contrast, important information can be gotten from systematic comparisons across languages. Thus, the distinction between regular and irregular orthographies is another potentially fruitful area of investigation. Overall, in spite of much research current interpretations seem unable to integrate all available findings. Some proposals focus on the cognitive description of the reading profile and explicitly ignore the distal causes of the disturbance. Others propose visual, acoustic or phonological mech-anisms but fail to link them to the pattern of reading impairment present in different children. The present Research Topic brings together studies based on different methodological approaches (i.e., behavioural studies examining cognitive and psycholinguistic factors, eye movement inves-tigations, biological markers, neuroimaging and genetic studies), involving dyslexic groups with and without comorbid symptoms, and in different orthographies (transparent and opaque) to identify the mechanisms underlying DD. The RT does not focus on a single model or theory of dyslexia but rather brings together different approaches and ideas which we feel are fruitful for a deeper understanding developmental dyslexia.

Morphologically complex words in the mind/brain

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198030 Year: Pages: 230 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-803-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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The question of how morphologically complex words (assign-ment, listen-ed) are represented and processed in the brain has been one of the most hotly debated topics in the cognitive neuroscience of language. Do complex words engage cortical representations and processes equivalent to single lexical objects or are they processed as sequences of separate morpheme-like units? Research on morphological processing has suggested that adults make efficient use of both lexical (i.e., whole word) storage and retrieval, as well as combinatorial computation in processing morphologically complex words. Psycholinguistic studies have demonstrated that processing of complex words can be affected both by properties of the morphemes and the whole words, such as their frequency, transparency, and regularity. Furthermore, this research has been informative about the time-course of complex word recognition and production, and the role of morphological structure in these processes. At the neural level, left-hemisphere inferior frontal and superior temporal areas, and negative-going event-related potentials, have been consistently associated with morphological processing. While most previous research has been done on the recognition of morphologically complex words in adult native speakers, much less is known about neurocognitive processes involved in the on-line production of morphologically complex words, and even less on morphological processing in children and non-native speakers. Moreover, we have limited understanding of how linguistically distinct morphological processes, e.g. inflectional (listen-ed) versus derivational (assign-ment), are handled by the cortical language networks. This e-book gives an up-to-date overview of the questions currently addressed in the field of morphological processing. It highlights the significance of morphological information in language processing, both written and spoken, as assessed by a variety of methods and approaches. It also points to a number of unresolved issues, and provides future directions for research in this key area of cognitive neuroscience of language.

Keywords

morphology --- derivation --- inflection --- Compound --- L2 --- Dyslexia --- ERP --- MEG --- semantics --- decomposition

The impact of learning to read on visual processing

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197163 Year: Pages: 73 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-716-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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Reading is at the interface between the vision and spoken language domains. An emergent bulk of research indicates that learning to read strongly impacts on non-linguistic visual object processing, both at the behavioral level (e.g., on mirror image processing – enantiomorphy) and at the brain level (e.g., inducing top-down effects as well as neural competition effects). Yet, many questions regarding the exact nature, locus, and consequences of these effects remain hitherto unanswered. The current Special Topic aims at contributing to the understanding of how such a cultural activity as reading might modulate visual processing by providing a landmark forum in which researchers define the state of the art and future directions on this issue. We thus welcome reviews of current work, original research, and opinion articles that focus on the impact of literacy on the cognitive and/or brain visual processes. In addition to studies directly focusing on this topic, we will consider as highly relevant evidence on reading and visual processes in typical and atypical development, including in adult people differing in schooling and literacy, as well as in neuropsychological cases (e.g., developmental dyslexia). We also encourage researchers on nonhuman primate visual processing to consider the potential contribution of their studies to this Special Topic.

Neuro-Education and Neuro-Rehabilitation

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450060 Year: Pages: 176 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-006-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:44
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In the last decade, important discoveries have been made in cognitive neuroscience regarding brain plasticity and learning such as the mirror neurons system and the anatomo-functional organization of perceptual, cognitive and motor abilities.... Time has come to consider the societal impact of these findings. The aim of this Research Topic of Frontiers in Psychology is to concentrate on two domains: neuro-education and neuro-rehabilitation. At the interface between neuroscience, psychology and education, neuro-education is a new inter-disciplinary emerging field that aims at developing new education programs based on results from cognitive neuroscience and psychology. For instance, brain-based learning methods are flourishing but few have been rigorously tested using well-controlled procedures. Authors of this Research Topic will present their latest findings in this domain using rigorously controlled experiments. Neuro-rehabilitation aims at developing new rehabilitation methods for children and adults with learning disorders. Neuro-rehabilitation programs can be based upon a relatively low number of patients and controls or on large clinical trials to test for the efficiency of new treatments. These projects may also aim at testing the efficiency of video-games and of new methods such as Trans Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for therapeutic interventions in children or adolescents with learning disabilities. This Research Topic will bring together neuroscientists interested in brain plasticity and the effects of training, psychologists working with adults as well as with normally developing children and children with learning disabilities as well as education researchers directly confronted with the efficiency of education programs. The goal for each author is to describe the state of the art in his/her specific research domain and to illustrate how her/his research findings can impact education in the classroom or rehabilitation of children and adolescents with learning disorders.

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