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Neural initialization of audiovisual integration in prereaders at varying risk for developmental dyslexiaAudiovisual Integration in Prereaders

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author I. Karipidis Iliana, Pleisch Georgette, Röthlisberger Martina, Hofstetter Christoph, Dornbierer Dario, Stämpfli Philipp, Brem Silvia,
Project Neuronal markers of grapheme-phoneme training response for prediction of successful reading acquisition in children at familial risk for developmental dyslexia
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Human Brain Mapping
Volume (Issue) 38(2)
Page(s) 1038 - 1055
Title of proceedings Human Brain Mapping
DOI 10.1002/hbm.23437

Open Access

Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)


Learning letter‐speech sound correspondences is a major step in reading acquisition and is severely impaired in children with dyslexia. Up to now, it remains largely unknown how quickly neural networks adopt specific functions during audiovisual integration of linguistic information when prereading children learn letter‐speech sound correspondences. Here, we simulated the process of learning letter‐speech sound correspondences in 20 prereading children (6.13–7.17 years) at varying risk for dyslexia by training artificial letter‐speech sound correspondences within a single experimental session. Subsequently, we acquired simultaneously event‐related potentials (ERP) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans during implicit audiovisual presentation of trained and untrained pairs. Audiovisual integration of trained pairs correlated with individual learning rates in right superior temporal, left inferior temporal, and bilateral parietal areas and with phonological awareness in left temporal areas. In correspondence, a differential left‐lateralized parietooccipitotemporal ERP at 400 ms for trained pairs correlated with learning achievement and familial risk. Finally, a late (650 ms) posterior negativity indicating audiovisual congruency of trained pairs was associated with increased fMRI activation in the left occipital cortex. Taken together, a short (<30 min) letter‐speech sound training initializes audiovisual integration in neural systems that are responsible for processing linguistic information in proficient readers. To conclude, the ability to learn grapheme‐phoneme correspondences, the familial history of reading disability, and phonological awareness of prereading children account for the degree of audiovisual integration in a distributed brain network. Such findings on emerging linguistic audiovisual integration could allow for distinguishing between children with typical and atypical reading development.