Effective connectivity between ventral occipito-temporal and ventral inferior frontal cortex during lexico-semantic processing. A dynamic causal modeling study

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Abstract

© 2017 Perrone-Bertolotti, Kauffmann, Pichat, Vidal and Baciu. It has been suggested that dorsal and ventral pathways support distinct aspects of language processing. Yet, the full extent of their involvement and their inter-regional connectivity in visual word recognition is still unknown. Studies suggest that they might reflect the dual-route model of reading, with the dorsal pathway more involved in grapho-phonological conversion during phonological tasks, and the ventral pathway performing lexico-semantic access during semantic tasks. Furthermore, this subdivision is also suggested at the level of the inferior frontal cortex, involving ventral and dorsal parts for lexico-semantic and phonological processing, respectively. In the present study, we assessed inter-regional brain connectivity and task-induced modulations of brain activity during a phoneme detection and semantic categorization tasks, using fMRI in healthy subject. We used a dynamic causal modeling approach to assess inter-regional connectivity and task demand modulation within the dorsal and ventral pathways, including the following network components: the ventral occipito-temporal cortex (vOTC; dorsal and ventral), the superior temporal gyrus (STG; dorsal), the dorsal inferior frontal gyrus (dIFG; dorsal), and the ventral IFG (vIFG; ventral). We report three distinct inter-regional interactions supporting orthographic information transfer from vOTC to other language regions (vOTC - > STG, vOTC - > vIFG and vOTC - > dIFG) regardless of task demands. Moreover, we found that (a) during semantic processing (direct ventral pathway) the vOTC - > vIFG connection strength specifically increased and (b) a lack of modulation of the vOTC - > dIFG connection strength by the task that could suggest a more general involvement of the dorsal pathway during visual word recognition. Results are discussed in terms of anatomo-functional connectivity of visual word recognition network.

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Perrone-Bertolotti, M., Kauffmann, L., Pichat, C., Vidal, J. R., & Baciu, M. (2017). Effective connectivity between ventral occipito-temporal and ventral inferior frontal cortex during lexico-semantic processing. A dynamic causal modeling study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2017.00325

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