PLoS ONE (2013-01-01)

Cortical signatures of dyslexia and remediation: an intrinsic functional connectivity approach.

  • Maki S Koyama,
  • Adriana Di Martino,
  • Clare Kelly,
  • Devika R Jutagir,
  • Jessica Sunshine,
  • Susan J Schwartz,
  • Francisco X Castellanos,
  • Michael P Milham

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8, no. 2
p. e55454


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This observational, cross-sectional study investigates cortical signatures of developmental dyslexia, particularly from the perspective of behavioral remediation. We employed resting-state fMRI, and compared intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) patterns of known reading regions (seeds) among three dyslexia groups characterized by (a) no remediation (current reading and spelling deficits), (b) partial remediation (only reading deficit remediated), and (c) full remediation (both reading and spelling deficits remediated), and a group of age- and IQ-matched typically developing children (TDC) (total N = 44, age range = 7-15 years). We observed significant group differences in iFC of two seeds located in the left posterior reading network - left intraparietal sulcus (L.IPS) and left fusiform gyrus (L.FFG). Specifically, iFC between L.IPS and left middle frontal gyrus was significantly weaker in all dyslexia groups, irrespective of remediation status/literacy competence, suggesting that persistent dysfunction in the fronto-parietal attention network characterizes dyslexia. Additionally, relative to both TDC and the no remediation group, the remediation groups exhibited stronger iFC between L.FFG and right middle occipital gyrus (R.MOG). The full remediation group also exhibited stronger negative iFC between the same L.FFG seed and right medial prefrontal cortex (R.MPFC), a core region of the default network These results suggest that behavioral remediation may be associated with compensatory changes anchored in L.FFG, which reflect atypically stronger coupling between posterior visual regions (L.FFG-R.MOG) and greater functional segregation between task-positive and task-negative regions (L.FFG-R.MPFC). These findings were bolstered by significant relationships between the strength of the identified functional connections and literacy scores. We conclude that examining iFC can reveal cortical signatures of dyslexia with particular promise for monitoring neural changes associated with behavioral remediation.