Authors: Christian Gerlach, Christina D. Kühn, Mads Poulsen, Kristian Bjerre Andersen, Cathrine Heikamp Lissau, Randi Starrfelt.
Article: Lateralization of word and face processing in developmental dyslexia and developmental prosopagnosia.
Publication: Neuropsychologia (Elsevier). Available online 10 March 2022, 108208 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2022.108208
- • We examined processing of words and cropped faces in a divided visual field paradigm.
- • Two populations were tested: developmental prosopagnosics and developmental dyslexics.
- • Both populations show a left visual field/right hemisphere advantage for faces.
- • The developmental dyslexics also show a right hemisphere advantage for words.
- • The right hemisphere advantage for faces is of normal magnitude for both populations.
In right-handed adults, face processing is lateralized to the right hemisphere and visual word processing to the left hemisphere. According to the many-to-many account (MTMA) of functional cerebral organization this lateralization pattern is partly dependent on the acquisition of literacy. Hence, the MTMA predicts that: (i) processing of both words and faces should show no or at least less lateralization in individuals with developmental dyslexia compared with controls, and (ii) lateralization in word processing should be normal in individuals with developmental prosopagnosia whereas lateralization in face processing should be absent. To test these hypotheses, 21 right-handed adults with developmental dyslexia and 21 right-handed adults with developmental prosopagnosia performed a divided visual field paradigm with delayed matching of faces, words and cars. Contrary to the predictions, we find that lateralization effects in face processing are within the normal range for both developmental dyslexics and prosopagnosics. Moreover, the group with developmental dyslexia showed right hemisphere lateralization for word processing. We argue that these findings are incompatible with the specific predictions of the MTMA.
Christian Gerlach, Christina D. Kühn, Mads Poulsen, Kristian Bjerre Andersen, Cathrine Heikamp Lissau, Randi Starrfelt,
Lateralization of word and face processing in developmental dyslexia and developmental prosopagnosia,
Neuropsychologia, 2022, 108208,