The direct segment of the arcuate fasciculus is predictive of longitudinal reading change

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Abstract

Structural coherence across the arcuate fasciculus has previously been related to reading skill, but the arcuate may be divisible into distinct subtracts which support different functions. Here, we examine longitudinal data from 30 children between the ages of 8 and 14 to determine whether initial coherence in any of the arcuate's subsections is predictive of changes in reading across a longitudinal interval of approximately three years. The arcuate was divided using probabilistic tractography; mean fractional anisotropy across each subtract was extracted for each participant. Time 1 to Time 2 change in reading skill (identification, fluency score average) was significantly and uniquely predicted by only direct fronto-temporal arcuate segment coherence. Participants with lower direct segment FA demonstrated decreases in reading scores, potentially reflecting lessened improvements due to continued inefficient processing. These results were consistent in the older and younger halves of the sample. As such, we demonstrate that it is specifically the direct segment of the arcuate that may support and be predictive of reading skill both initially and longitudinally across development.

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Gullick, M. M., & Booth, J. R. (2015). The direct segment of the arcuate fasciculus is predictive of longitudinal reading change. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 13, 68–74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2015.05.002

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