Authors: Simos PG, Fletcher JM, Sarkari S, Billingsley-Marshall R, Denton CA, Papanicolaou AC
Title: Intensive instruction affects brain magnetic activity associated with oral word reading in children with persistent reading disabilities
Source: Journal of Learning Disabilities 2007 40(1): 37-48
Year: 2007
Research Design: Case Series

Fifteen children ages 7 to 9 years who had persistent reading difficulties despite adequate instruction were provided with intensive tutorial interventions. The interventions targeted deficient phonological processing and decoding skills for 8 weeks (2 hours per day) followed by an 8-week, 1-hour-per-day intervention that focused on the development of reading fluency skills. Spatiotemporal brain activation profiles were obtained at baseline and after each 8-week intervention program using magnetoencephalography during the performance of an oral sight-word reading task. Changes in brain activity were found in the posterior part of the middle temporal gyrus (Brodmann's Area [BA] 21: increased degree of activity and reduced onset latency), the lateral occipitotemporal region (BA 19/37: decreased onset latency of activation), and the premotor cortex (increased onset latency). Overall changes associated with the intervention were primarily normalizing, as indicated by (a) increased activity in a region that is typically involved in lexical--semantic processing (BA 21) and (b) a shift in the relative timing of regional activity in temporal and frontal cortices to a pattern typically seen in unimpaired readers. These findings extend previous results in demonstrating significant changes in the spatiotemporal profile of activation associated with word reading in response to reading remediation.

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