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Poster C26, Thursday, November 9, 10:00 – 11:15 am, Harborview and Loch Raven Ballrooms

Chinese dyslexic children’s alteration in the large-scale brain functional network comparing phonological and semantic reading tasks

Jiali Hu1, Xin Liu1, Yue Gao1, Yu Zhou1, Li Liu1;1Beijing Normal University

Dyslexia is a specific reading difficulty, which showed parallel deficits in both orthography-to-phonology and orthography-to-semantics mapping. Previous functional connectivity studies suggest that dyslexia is a disconnectivity syndrome. However, traditional connectivity studies tended to focus on the selected seed regions instead of concerning interaction of whole brain regions by using graph theoretical analysis. In our study, we adopted a semantic relatedness rhyming judgment and a semantic relatedness judgment task to examine the Chinese dyslexic alteration of functional brain network during reading from a large-scale perspective. Sixteen typically developing children and fifteen dyslexic children were included. Participants were asked to perform reading tasks in fMRI scanners while their brain were imaged. The findings are as follows: First, typically developing children’s brain connectivity was more similar to that of dyslexic children in semantic relatedness judgment task than in rhyming. Specifically, the two groups only shared 33 percentages of common hubs in rhyming task but shared 76 percentages of common hubs in semantic task, which indicates that Chinese dyslexia have larger alteration in phonological than in semantic processing. Of note, hubs were essential nodes in a brain. Second, only typically developing children showed between-task differences in inter-regional connectivity, whereas dyslexic children did not show any task difference, suggesting the topological organization of typically developing children’s reading network is more specialized than that of dyslexia. Last, through comparing participants’ performance between rhyming and semantic task, different brain network patterns were used in two groups. Typically developing children respectively showed stronger long-distance and stronger short-distance interregional connectivity during rhyming and semantic task. When it comes to dyslexic children, their brain network pattern did not show distinctly difference during different reading tasks. Supplementary motor area, rectus, hippocampus, precentral and frontal areas played important roles in both tasks. Some of the aforementioned brain network alterations of dyslexic children have been reported in previous studies using task-free resting state data, suggesting it may be domain-general. Taken together, our study suggests that Chinese reading dyslexia showed great alteration in brain connectivity properties, and some of these alterations may be domain-general while others may be modulated by different reading tasks.

Topic Area: Language Disorders

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