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Poster B98

Hippocampal involvement in reading

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Ane Gurtubay-Antolin1, Dalila Merhej1, Mingjun Zhai2, Simon Fischer-Baum3,4, Pedro M. Paz-Alonso1,5; 1Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language-BCBL , Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain, 2Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China, 3Rice University, Houston, Texas, US, 4National Science Foundation, US, 5IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, Bilbao, Spain

The cortical substrates of skilled reading have been extensively investigated. However, more research is needed to understand the involvement of subcortical regions in language processing. Reading requires phonological and visuospatial short-term memories, computations that are typically mapped onto the hippocampus. In the present work, we analyzed three functional MRI reading datasets using single-word and sentence processing reading tasks to investigate the contribution of different hippocampal sections (i.e., head, body and tail) to reading. Results revealed that across the three datasets hippocampal engagement was stronger in the left than in the right hemisphere, specially in the hippocampal body. Moreover, also in all the datasets, the left hippocampal body was more strongly recruited during reading than the hippocampal head or tail. Functional connectivity analyses revealed that also across the three datasets the left hippocampal body and head showed tighter functional coactivation with nodes along the ventral reading network compared with nodes along the dorsal network, suggesting a role of the hippocampus in semantic rather than phonological reading processes. In sum, our study consistently underscores the involvement of the left hippocampal body in skilled single-word and sentence reading, confirming the importance of unveiling the role of subcortical regions in current and future neurobiology of reading models.

Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Semantic


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