Over the past 2 decades, researchers have tried to uncover how the human brain can extract linguistic information from a sequence of visual symbols. The description of how the brain's visual system processes words and enables reading has improved with the progressive refinement of experimental methodologies and neuroimaging techniques. This review provides a brief overview of this research journey. We start by describing classical models of object recognition in non-human primates, which represent the foundation for many of the early models of visual word recognition in humans. We then review functional neuroimaging studies investigating the word-selective regions in visual cortex. This research led to the differentiation of highly specialized areas, which are involved in the analysis of different aspects of written language. We then consider the corresponding anatomical measurements and provide a description of the main white matter pathways carrying neural signals crucial to word recognition. Finally, in an attempt to integrate structural, functional, and electrophysiological findings, we propose a view of visual word recognition, accounting for spatial and temporal facets of word-selective neural processes. This multi-modal perspective on the neural circuitry of literacy highlights the relevance of a posterior-anterior differentiation in ventral occipitotemporal cortex for visual processing of written language and lexical features. It also highlights unanswered questions that can guide us towards future research directions. Bridging measures of brain structure and function will help us reach a more precise understanding of the transformation from vision to language.

Anatomy and physiology of word-selective visual cortex: from visual features to lexical processing / Caffarra, S.; Karipidis, I. I.; Yablonski, M.; Yeatman, J. D.. - In: BRAIN STRUCTURE & FUNCTION. - ISSN 1863-2661. - 226:9(2021), pp. 3051-3065. [10.1007/s00429-021-02384-8]

Anatomy and physiology of word-selective visual cortex: from visual features to lexical processing

Caffarra S.;
2021

Abstract

Over the past 2 decades, researchers have tried to uncover how the human brain can extract linguistic information from a sequence of visual symbols. The description of how the brain's visual system processes words and enables reading has improved with the progressive refinement of experimental methodologies and neuroimaging techniques. This review provides a brief overview of this research journey. We start by describing classical models of object recognition in non-human primates, which represent the foundation for many of the early models of visual word recognition in humans. We then review functional neuroimaging studies investigating the word-selective regions in visual cortex. This research led to the differentiation of highly specialized areas, which are involved in the analysis of different aspects of written language. We then consider the corresponding anatomical measurements and provide a description of the main white matter pathways carrying neural signals crucial to word recognition. Finally, in an attempt to integrate structural, functional, and electrophysiological findings, we propose a view of visual word recognition, accounting for spatial and temporal facets of word-selective neural processes. This multi-modal perspective on the neural circuitry of literacy highlights the relevance of a posterior-anterior differentiation in ventral occipitotemporal cortex for visual processing of written language and lexical features. It also highlights unanswered questions that can guide us towards future research directions. Bridging measures of brain structure and function will help us reach a more precise understanding of the transformation from vision to language.
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Anatomy and physiology of word-selective visual cortex: from visual features to lexical processing / Caffarra, S.; Karipidis, I. I.; Yablonski, M.; Yeatman, J. D.. - In: BRAIN STRUCTURE & FUNCTION. - ISSN 1863-2661. - 226:9(2021), pp. 3051-3065. [10.1007/s00429-021-02384-8]
Caffarra, S.; Karipidis, I. I.; Yablonski, M.; Yeatman, J. D.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11380/1288041
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