Children with poor reading skills have differences in brain function when compared to typically-developing readers, and there may also be changes in the brain following reading intervention. However, most functional imaging studies focus on phonological reading tasks with one level of task difficulty. The purpose of this study was to compare good and poor readers on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) tasks of orthography (spelling) and phonology (rhyming) before and after 3 months of school-based intervention. These tasks were also modulated by task difficulty based on printed word frequency. The results showed that primarily left hemisphere regions were activated for the spelling and rhyming tasks, and poor readers showed a pattern of increased activation in bilateral inferior frontal, bilateral insula, right parietal, and left cerebellum following intervention. Activity in left pars triangularis and right parietal regions were associated with gains in decoding skills. Intervention effects appeared across blocks of easy and difficult words, except for the right parietal cortex. In this region, poor readers had greater activity on the easy word blocks after intervention, which indicates that there was increased recruitment of the right parietal cortex for relatively easy words. These results indicate that effects of intervention may be more evident on phonological tasks in comparison to orthographic tasks, and some of these effects may be modulated by relative task difficulty.
|Gepubliceerd - jul. 2019