ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

›› 2010, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (8): 1199-1207.

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Visual Word Form Area and Its Functional Role in the Neural Network of Reading

WANG Xiao-Juan;SHU Hua;YANG Jian-Feng   

  1. (a State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)
    (b Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100101, China)
  • Received:2009-11-12 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2010-08-15 Published:2010-08-15
  • Contact: YANG Jian-Feng

Abstract: The middle fusiform gyrus was regarded as visual word form areas (VWFA). This view was challenged by more and more evidence recently. An increasing number of researchers are interested in the function of VWFA and the role in visual words reading. They view it as a part of dynamic network. This issue has been investigated quite intensively in recent years, which includes three controversial points reviewed in this paper: the selective sensitivity of VWFA to orthographic stimuli and the hierarchical organization of whole fusiform gyrus; its functional role in visual words reading; the role of language experience in shaping its function. By discussing the new findings, a new approach was proposed as the direction of future cognitive neuroscience studies. It suggested a dynamic neural network as the brain mechanism of cognitive task, instead of identification of local brain region for specific cognitive processing component.

Key words: visual word reading, visual words form area (VWFA), fusiform gyrus, fMRI