Shankweiler, D. P., Mencl, W. E., Braze, D., Tabor, W., Pugh, K. R., & Fulbright, R. K. (2008). Reading Differences and Brain: Cortical Integration of Speech and Print in Sentence Processing Varies with Reader Skill. Developmental Neuropsychology, 33.6 745-776. [abstract]

Abstract: fMRI was used to investigate the impact of literacy skills in young adults on the distribution of cerebral activity during comprehension of sentences in spoken and printed form. The aim was to discover where speech and print streams merge, and whether their convergence is affected by the level of reading skill. The results from different analyses all point to the conclusion that neural integration of sentence processing across speech and print varies positively with the readerís skill. Further, they identify the inferior frontal region as the principal site of speech-print integration and a major focus of reading comprehension differences. The findings provide new evidence of the role of the inferior frontal region in supporting supramodal systems of linguistic representation.