Authors: Muna van Ermingen-Marbach, Marion Grande, Julia Pape-Neumann, Katharina Sass, Stefan Heim.

Article: Distinct neural signatures of cognitive subtypes of dyslexia with and without phonological deficits.

Publication: Neuroimage: Clinical (Elsevier). Volume 2, Pages 477-490 2013 | DOI: 10.1016/j.nicl.2013.03.010

[Full Text]


Dyslexia subtypes have a neurophysiological repercussion.
Dyslexia subtypes are associated with distinct left fronto-parietal brain activation.
All dyslexics vs. controls show enhanced activation in right cerebellum.


Developmental dyslexia can be distinguished as different cognitive subtypes with and without phonological deficits. However, despite some general agreement on the neurobiological basis of dyslexia, the neurofunctional mechanisms underlying these cognitive subtypes remain to be identified. The present BOLD fMRI study thus aimed at investigating by which distinct and/or shared neural activation patterns dyslexia subtypes are characterized. German dyslexic fourth graders with and without deficits in phonological awareness and age-matched normal readers performed a phonological decision task: does the auditory word contain the phoneme/a/? Both dyslexic subtypes showed increased activation in the right cerebellum (Lobule IV) compared to controls. Subtype-specific increased activation was systematically found for the phonological dyslexics as compared to those without this deficit and controls in the left inferior frontal gyrus (area 44: phonological segmentation), the left SMA (area 6), the left precentral gyrus (area 6) and the right insula. Non-phonological dyslexics revealed subtype-specific increased activation in the left supramarginal gyrus (area PFcm; phonological storage) and angular gyrus (area PGp). The study thus provides the first direct evidence for the neurobiological grounding of dyslexia subtypes. Moreover, the data contribute to a better understanding of the frequently encountered heterogeneous neuroimaging results in the field of dyslexia.

Tagged as: cerebellum, fMRI, right hemisphere, and subtypes


van Ermingen-Marbach M, Grande M, Pape-Neumann J, Sass K, Heim S. Distinct neural signatures of cognitive subtypes of dyslexia with and without phonological deficits. Neuroimage Clin. 2013 Mar 25;2:477-90. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2013.03.010. PMID: 24936406; PMCID: PMC4054964.

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