A cultural effect on brain function.

Paulesu, Eraldo and McCrory, Eamon and Fazio, Ferruccio and Menoncello, L. and Brunswick, Nicola and Cappa, Stefano F. and Cotelli, M. and Cossu, Giuseppe and Corte, F. and Lorusso, M. L. and Pesenti, S. and Gallagher, Ann-Marie and Perani, D. and Price, Cathy and Frith, C. D. and Frith, Uta (2000) A cultural effect on brain function. Nature Neuroscience, 3 (1). pp. 91-96. ISSN 1097-6256

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Abstract

We present behavioral and anatomical evidence for a multi-component reading system in which different components are differentially weighted depending on culture-specific demands of orthography. Italian orthography is consistent, enabling reliable conversion of graphemes to phonemes to yield correct pronunciation of the word. English orthography is inconsistent, complicating mapping of letters to word sounds. In behavioral studies, Italian students showed faster word and non-word reading than English students. In two PET studies, Italians showed greater activation in left superior temporal regions associated with phoneme processing. In contrast, English readers showed greater activations, particularly for non-words, in left posterior inferior temporal gyrus and anterior inferior frontal gyrus, areas associated with word retrieval during both reading and naming tasks.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:Health & Education > Health & Education
Citations on ISI Web of Science:228
ID Code:2938
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Deposited On:27 Oct 2009 07:00
Last Modified:06 Feb 2013 12:12

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