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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.

Lateralization and cognitive systems

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194117 Year: Pages: 314 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-411-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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Left-right asymmetries of structure and function are a common organization principle in the brains of humans and non-human vertebrates alike. While there are inherently asymmetric systems such as the human language system or the song system of songbirds, the impact of structural or functional asymmetries on perception, cognition and behavior is not necessarily limited to these systems. For example, performance in experimental paradigms that assess executive functions such as inhibition, planning or action monitoring is influenced by information processing in the bottom-up channel. Depending on the type of stimuli used, one hemisphere can be more efficient in processing than the other and these functional cerebral asymmetries have been shown to modulate the efficacy of executive functions via the bottom-up channel. We only begin to understand the complex neuronal mechanisms underlying this interaction between hemispheric asymmetries and cognitive systems. Therefore, it is the aim of this Research Topics to further elucidate how structural or functional hemispheric asymmetries modulate perception, cognition and behavior in the broadest sense.

Manual Asymmetries, Handedness and Motor Performance

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198634 Year: Pages: 147 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-863-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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The performance of most tasks with one hand, typically the right, is a uniquely human characteristic. Not only do people prefer to use one hand rather than the other, but also they usually perform tasks faster and more accurately with this hand. The study of manual asymmetries and what such performance differences between the two hands reveal about brain organization and motor function has been a topic of considerable research over the last several decades. The aim of this Research Topic is to review and further explore the origins of manual asymmetries and their relationship to handedness, unimanual and bimanual motor performance, and brain function. The articles included here involve original research conducted in humans or non-human models species, as well as theoretical perspectives, review articles, and meta-analyses.

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