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ERIC Number: EJ939610
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0093-934X
The Role of the Ventral and Dorsal Pathways in Reading Chinese Characters and English Words
Sun, Yafeng; Yang, Yanhui; Desroches, Amy S.; Liu, Li; Peng, Danling
Brain and Language, v119 n2 p80-88 Nov 2011
Previous literature in alphabetic languages suggests that the occipital-temporal region (the ventral pathway) is specialized for automatic parallel word recognition, whereas the parietal region (the dorsal pathway) is specialized for serial letter-by-letter reading (and). However, few studies have directly examined the role of the ventral and dorsal pathways in Chinese reading compared to English reading. To investigate this issue, we adopted the degraded word processing paradigm used by Cohen et al. (2008) and compared brain regions involved in the processing of degraded Chinese characters and English words during lexical decision, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The degraded characters/words were created by inserting blank spaces between radicals of Chinese characters or syllables of English polysyllabic words. Generally, the current study replicated the effects of Cohen et al. (2008), showing that in Chinese--like in alphabetic languages--character spacing modulates both ventral (bilateral cuneus, left middle occipital gyrus) and dorsal (left superior parietal lobule and middle frontal gyrus) pathways. In addition, the current study showed greater activation in bilateral cuneus and right lingual gyrus for Chinese versus English when comparing spaced to normal stimuli, suggesting that Chinese character recognition relies more on ventral visual-spatial processing than English word recognition. Interestingly, bilateral cuneus showed monotonic patterns in response to increasing spacing, while the rest of the regions of interest showed non-monotonic patterns, indicating different profiles for these regions in visual-spatial processing. (Contains 2 tables and 6 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A