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Poster E4, Friday, November 10, 10:00 – 11:15 am, Harborview and Loch Raven Ballrooms

The Function of Cerebellum VI in Reading---Evidence from Cerebro-Cerebellar Functional Connectivity

Chen Ang1, Xiaoxia Feng1, Hehui Li1, Manli Zhang2, Xiujie Yang2, Mengyu Tian3, Yue Gao1, Xiangzhi Meng2, Guosheng Ding1;1Beijing Normal Univ., Beijing, China, 2Peking Univ., Beijing, China, 3Inst. of psychology, Chinese Acad. of Sci., Beijing, China

Background: Previous research showed that the cerebellum, particularly cerebellum VI, plays an important role in reading. The engagement of cerebellum VI in language processing was found in typical developed readers (Stoodley & Stein, 2011) and in dyslexia readers (Feng et al., 2016; Stanberry et al., 2006), but whether there are different functions between the left and right cerebellum need further exploring. Stanberry (2006) found dyslexia readers had abnormal cerebro-cerebellar functional connectivity during phonological task. A recent study also found cerebellum VI compensated for reading impairment through the connections with specific brain regions for different reading tasks (Feng et al., 2016). Reading difficulties may be caused by impairments of either phonological awareness (PA) or rapid naming (RAN) (Norton et al., 2014). However, it is not clear whether and how the function of cerebellum VI is related to the performance in PA and RAN. Here we used resting-state MRI to explore how the intrinsic cerebro-cerebellar functional connectivity of cerebellum VI related to PA and RAN. There are two goals: 1. Test the hypothesis that the role of cerebellum VI in different language tasks is implemented through functional connection to different cerebral regions responsible for the tasks. 2. Compare whether function of the left and right cerebellum VI differs with an examination of their relevant cerebro-cerebellar functional connectivity associating different tasks. Method: Resting-state MRI data and PA/RAN scores were collected from fifty-seven typically developing readers(mean age = 10.19 years, standard deviation = 0.96). Left and right cerebellum VI were chosen as ROIs from a meta-analysis study (E, Chen, Ho, & Desmond, 2014), and then the correlations between ROI-wise cerebro-cerebellar functional connectivity and reading performance were analyzed. Results: For the PA task, the correlated functional connectivity was found between either the right or the left cerebellum VI with bilateral insula. For the RAN task, the correlated functional connectivity was found between either the right or the left cerebellum VI with the left postcentral gyrus. The left and the right cerebellum VI did not show significant difference in term of the cerebro-cerebellar functional connectivity associating different tasks. In conclusion, the connections between bilateral insula and cerebellum VI were related to PA, and the connections between left postcentral gyrus and cerebellum VI were related to RAN. The results verified the hypothesis that the cerebellum VI functions through the connection to different cerebral regions to carry on different language tasks, and the function of the left and right cerebellum VI may not differ. These findings deepen our understanding of the how cerebellum involved in reading.

Topic Area: Language Development

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