Visual word recognition: The first half second

Division of Psychology, School of Biology, University of Newcastle, UK.
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.36). 09/2004; 22(4):1819-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2004.05.004
Source: OAI

ABSTRACT We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to map the spatiotemporal evolution of cortical activity for visual word recognition. We show that for five-letter words, activity in the left hemisphere (LH) fusiform gyrus expands systematically in both the posterior-anterior and medial-lateral directions over the course of the first 500 ms after stimulus presentation. Contrary to what would be expected from cognitive models and hemodynamic studies, the component of this activity that spatially coincides with the visual word form area (VWFA) is not active until around 200 ms post-stimulus, and critically, this activity is preceded by and co-active with activity in parts of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG, BA44/6). The spread of activity in the VWFA for words does not appear in isolation but is co-active in parallel with spread of activity in anterior middle temporal gyrus (aMTG, BA 21 and 38), posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG, BA37/39), and IFG.

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    • "For example , recall the evidence that Broca's area activity accompanies dorsal circuit activity early in reading development when children rely on decoding processes. In contrast, skilled readers who rarely use decoding exhibit activity in the ventral network that connect Broca's area and the VWFA (Price & Devlin, 2011; Woodhead et al., 2012; Pammer et al., 2004). In both the child studies and the adult studies, activity in Broca's area accompanied word recognition. "
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    • "The activation time course of the ROIs investigated here begins earlier than what has been observed with EEG or MEG techniques. Indeed, several studies reported a similar activation time course for vOT, pMTG, and SMG around 200 msec from stimulus onset (Pammer et al., 2004; Rossion, Joyce, Cottrell, & Tarr, 2003; Bentin, Mouchetant- Rostaing, Giard, Echallier, & Pernier, 1999; Tarkiainen et al., 1999). The timing difference between EEG/MEG and TMS studies could be explained by the fact that ERP components arise from large-scale neuronal synchrony across activity in multiple structures and, therefore, lag behind the earliest wave of activity that is affected by magnetic stimulation in any given structure (Walsh & Cowey, 2000; Schroeder, Mehta, & Givre, 1998). "
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    • "Likewise, Twomey, Kawabata Duncan, Price, and Devlin (2011) found that the activation of the left ventral occipito-temporal cortex, a brain structure involved in early stage processing during visual word recognition, was modulated differently by emphasizing phonological versus orthographical criteria in the lexical decision task. Further evidence along the same lines was provided by Cornelissen et al. (2009), who used magnetoencephalography (MEG) measures to show very early coactivation (within 200 ms) of speech motor areas and fusiform gyrus (orthographic word-form processing ) during the presentation of words, consonant strings, and unfamiliar faces (see also Cai, Paulignan, Brysbaert, Ibarrola, & Nazir, 2010; Devlin, Jamison, Gonnerman, & Matthews, 2006; Kherif, Josse, & Price, 2011; Pammer et al., 2004). "
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