Are the brain mechanisms of reading acquisition similar across writing systems? And do similar brain anomalies underlie reading difficulties in alphabetic and ideographic reading systems? In a cross-cultural paradigm, we measured the fMRI responses to words, faces and houses in 96 Chinese and French 10-year-old children, half of whom were struggling with reading. We observed a reading circuit which was strikingly similar across languages and consisting of the left fusiform gyrus, superior temporal gyrus/sulcus, precentral and middle frontal gyri. Activations in some of these areas were modulated either by language or by reading ability, but without interaction between those factors. In various regions previously associated with dyslexia, reading difficulty affected activation similarly in Chinese and French readers, including the middle frontal gyrus, a region previously described as specifically altered in Chinese. Our analyses reveal a large degree of cross-cultural invariance in the neural correlates of reading acquisition and reading impairment.
The processed data to generate figures in this manuscript will be shared in the Open Science Framework (Identifier: DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/C4AXG).
Universal brain mechanisms of reading acquisition: an fMRI study in normal and dyslexic French and Chinese childrenOpen Science Framework, C4AXG.
- Xiangzhi Meng
- Franck Ramus
- Stanislas Dehaene
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: The study was approved by Institutional Review Boards at Beijing Normal University in China and local ethics committee (CPP Ile de France VII, N˚ 11-008) in Kremlin-Bicêtre, France (#20130331). Written consent and consent to publish was obtained from all children and their parents.
- Andrea E Martin, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Netherlands
© 2020, Feng et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Advanced imaging techniques reveal details of the interactions between the two layers of the embryonic midgut that influence its ultimate shape.
Structural and physiological changes in the female reproductive system underlie the origins of pregnancy in multiple vertebrate lineages. In mammals, the glandular portion of the lower reproductive tract has transformed into a structure specialized for supporting fetal development. These specializations range from relatively simple maternal nutrient provisioning in egg-laying monotremes to an elaborate suite of traits that support intimate maternal-fetal interactions in Eutherians. Among these traits are the maternal decidua and fetal component of the placenta, but there is considerable uncertainty about how these structures evolved. Previously we showed that changes in uterine gene expression contributes to several evolutionary innovations during the origins of pregnancy (Marinic, Mika, and Lynch 2021). Here we reconstruct the evolution of entire transcriptomes ('ancestral transcriptome reconstruction') and show that maternal gene expression profiles are correlated with degree of placental invasion. These results indicate that an epitheliochorial-like placenta evolved early in the mammalian stem-lineage and that the ancestor of Eutherians had a hemochorial placenta, and suggest maternal control of placental invasiveness. These data resolve major transitions in the evolution of pregnancy and indicate that ancestral transcriptome reconstruction can be used to study the function of ancestral cell, tissue, and organ systems.