Investigating Reading Processes Using Diffusion Tensor Imaging

  • Author / Creator
    Dai, Wenjun
  • Recent evidence from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies reported that the structural integrity [fractional anisotropy (FA)] of white matter (WM) tracts in the ventral and dorsal regions of the brain is correlated with reading ability. It has thus been hypothesized that WM pathways in these regions may support reading tasks that rely on corresponding cortical regions. This project investigated the relationship between behavioural measurements of reading and FA of WM tracts obtained using tractography, region of interest (ROI) analysis, and a hybrid tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) – voxelwise approach. Reaction times (RTs) for overt reading of exception words (ventral), regular words (ventral and dorsal), pseudohomophones (dorsal), and non-words (dorsal) by healthy participants were correlated with the FA of WM tracts thought to underlie the dorsal and ventral processing streams. This study found mixed support for the hypothesis of a relationship between dorsal and ventral processing streams and the underlying WM tracts.

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  • Degree
    Master of Science
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