Atypical white matter connectivity in dyslexic readers of a fairly transparent orthography

Gojko Zaric*, Inge Timmers, Patty Gerretsen, Gorka Fraga Gonzalez, Jurgen Tijms, Maurits W. van der Molen, Leo Blomert, Milene Bonte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Atypical structural properties of the brain's white matter bundles have been associated with failing reading acquisition in developmental dyslexia. Because these white matter properties may show dynamic changes with age and orthographic depth, we examined fractional anisotropy (FA) along 16 white matter tracts in 8- to 11-year-old dyslexic (DR) and typically reading (TR) children learning to read in a fairly transparent orthography (Dutch). Our results showed higher FA values in the bilateral anterior thalamic radiations of DRs and FA values of the left thalamic radiation scaled with behavioral reading-related scores. Furthermore, DRs tended to have atypical FA values in the bilateral arcuate fasciculi. Children's age additionally predicted FA values along the tracts. Together, our findings suggest differential contributions of cortical and thalamo-cortical pathways to the developing reading network in dyslexic and typical readers, possibly indicating prolonged letter-by-letter reading or increased attentional and/or working memory demands in dyslexic children during reading.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1147
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2018

Keywords

  • developmental dyslexia
  • structural connectivity
  • diffusion tensor imaging
  • reading network
  • anterior thalamic radiation
  • arcuate fasciculus
  • DIFFUSION TENSOR QUANTIFICATION
  • READING IMPAIRED CHILDREN
  • VERBAL WORKING-MEMORY
  • WORD FORM AREA
  • DEVELOPMENTAL DYSLEXIA
  • ARCUATE FASCICULUS
  • HUMAN BRAIN
  • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
  • RIGHT-HEMISPHERE
  • IN-VIVO

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