Reading plays a key role in education and communication in modern society. Learning to read establishes the connections between the visual word form area (VWFA) and language areas responsible for speech processing. Using resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) and Granger Causality Analysis (GCA) methods, the current developmental study aimed to identify the difference in the relationship between the connections of VWFA-language areas and reading performance in both adults and children. The results showed that: (1) the spontaneous connectivity between VWFA and the spoken language areas, i.e., the left inferior frontal gyrus/supramarginal gyrus (LIFG/LSMG), was stronger in adults compared with children; (2) the spontaneous functional patterns of connectivity between VWFA and language network were negatively correlated with reading ability in adults but not in children; (3) the causal influence from LIFG to VWFA was negatively correlated with reading ability only in adults but not in children; (4) the RSFCs between left posterior middle frontal gyrus (LpMFG) and VWFA/LIFG were positively correlated with reading ability in both adults and children; and (5) the causal influence from LIFG to LSMG was positively correlated with reading ability in both groups. These findings provide insights into the relationship between VWFA and the language network for reading, and the role of the unique features of Chinese in the neural circuits of reading.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry
- Behavioral Neuroscience