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How reading differs from object naming at the neuronal level


McCrory E, Noppeney,  U
Research Group Cognitive Neuroimaging, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Price, C., McCrory E, Noppeney, U., Mechelli A, Moore CJ, Biggio, N., & Devlin, J. (2006). How reading differs from object naming at the neuronal level. Neuroimage, 29(2), 643-648. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2005.07.044.

TThis paper uses whole brain functional neuroimaging in neurologically normal participants to explore how reading aloud differs from object naming in terms of neuronal implementation. In the first experiment, we directly compared brain activation during reading aloud and object naming. This revealed greater activation for reading in bilateral premotor, left posterior superior temporal and precuneus regions. In a second experiment, we segregated the object-naming system into object recognition and speech production areas by factorially manipulating the presence or absence of objects (pictures of objects or their meaningless scrambled counterparts) with the presence or absence of speech production (vocal vs. finger press responses). This demonstrated that the areas associated with speech production (object naming and repetitively saying “OK” to meaningless scrambled pictures) corresponded exactly to the areas where responses were higher for reading aloud than object naming in Experiment 1. Collectively the results suggest that, relative to object naming, reading increases the demands on shared speech production processes. At a cognitive level, enhanced activation for reading in speech production areas may reflect the multiple and competing phonological codes that are generated from the sublexical parts of written words. At a neuronal level, it may reflect differences in the speed with which different areas are activated and integrate with one another.